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Ask HN: What are you thankful for?
418 points by japhyr on Nov 28, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 295 comments
I think this gets asked most years, and I always enjoy the threads that come out of it. I am thankful for a family that I enjoy spending the holidays with. I am thankful that I had a safe childhood and got a good education throughout my life.

I am also thankful for the HN community. People dump on this site sometimes, but over most of the past decade HN has been an overwhelmingly positive part of my life. Thank you to everyone for what you bring to the community here.

I’m thankful for the heart donor who saved my newborn daughter’s life last week.

My daughter contracted Coxsackie B enterovirus at 2 weeks old, and it scarred her left ventricle beyond repair. Her donor has given her a second chance. Another family had to make a heartbreaking choice at a devastating moment, and they chose to give life to my daughter and probably several other gravely ill infants.

Check your organ donor status please. Happy Thanksgiving.

That family made both a heart saving choice and a heartbreaking one. That other baby's heart lives on in your daughter.

This past summer, my late-20s brother was killed when he was hit by a car while riding his bike. He was an organ donor, and because his heart never stopped beating, his organs (including his heart) went to six or seven other people.

But don't just check your organ donor status, tell the people you love that you're an organ donor. It was completely by chance that we found out that my brother was one just a few days before the accident, and we never found his wallet or his driver's licence, so we probably wouldn't have known his wishes otherwise.

When my partner died (4 years ago now), this was one of the first things I got in order. The AUS organ donor registry was on the ball and actually contacted me first as soon as her death was flagged with with government (these things are time-critical), but I found it incredibly healing to go through the process of sorting this at a time when everything was spiralling out of control and understand that her death wasn’t entirely in vain.

I’ll never know who her skin went on to help, but I know she’d be overjoyed to know she made another final contribution to science.

I am happy for your family. I am an organ donor. I am also planning to donate my body to a medical institution so that the medical students have a human body to dissect and learn from. I hear that there is a dearth of human bodies.

Since the topic of organ donation came up, I thought of asking this question. This is a real incident. I am not making this up. I met a learned priest. Both I and the priest are hindus. He argued that since God gave us our body and organs at birth, we need to give it back to God the body and all the organs at death. I don't agree with the priests argument. It is just that I am not that smart and don't know how to counter that argument. I am sure there are hindu readers in HN community. Any thoughts on this?

I’ve been an atheist for the majority of my life, but I was born and raised in a Southern Dwaitin Brahmin family. And growing up, I did get a fair bit of home schooling on the Vedic texts.

The Vedas, which are considered sacrosanct in all surviving sects of theistic Hinduism. There were once atheist sects like the Ajivikas and the Charvakas, but they went out of fashion a long time ago.

The verses in the Vedic texts can be classified in many different ways. For instance, “Bheda Stutis” and “Abheda Stutis” in the Upanishads (which essentially are Dualist and Monist verses). The classification that I’m interested in touching upon here is the distinction between Karma-kanda and the Jnana-kanda (which translate to procedural canon and the theoretical canon). The procedural part mostly deals with the details on rituals and worship (one bit that I vividly remember is the part on the rituals of animal sacrifice, which might come as a bit of a surprise). The theoretical part deals with the questions around the true nature of Brahman (the ultimate god) and Atman (the individual soul). Hindu priests usually specialise in the former (the part involving rituals) rather than the latter. I wouldn’t trust a lone Hindu priest’s opinion on such doctrinal matters. :)

The Vedic doctrine on your question is fairly unambiguous (which is quite rare for anything in the Vedas). The soul (aka the Atman) always takes precedence. The body is considered to be a mere shell in which the soul temporarily resides. Thinking that the body and the soul to be inextricably linked to the body is considered a common fallacy which even has a Sanskrit term for it (Dehatma bhranti). The body (Deha) is considered temporary and dispensable and the soul (Atman), eternal. What happens to the body after death is merely a procedural implementation detail and will not affect your chances at the lottery to attain Moksha. :)

The priest you spoke to probably is confounding the cremation rituals with the idea of sacrifice (aka Bali).

I am a Hindu myself and I am NOT an atheist. There are two ways I understand the situation:

1. You could argue back to the priest that your organ donation is going to save lives which God would appreciate anyway and have your way :D

2. More broadly, one of the lessons of history [0] is that what begins as a practical way to do something becomes codified into religion because it's far more efficient to get the message across generations. I'd like to believe that burning the body (as many Hindus do) is one such [ Not burning the body may have caused infections and what not in tribal settlements long long ago ] . This being the case, organ donation is a safe way, too. If you're the more scientific kind, you can use this to further convince yourself to donate the body. I know I would use both 1&2 :)

[0] I read about this when researching how Halal and some other practises came about. I will try to dig up the reference but it was ages ago :(

As a Hindu myself - my 2c on the topic...

Hinduism has no central doctrine, so while this particular priest may hold a view on organ donation (or lack thereof), there will be others who may encourage it. As an example - Lord Ganesha's head is "donated" from an elephant. The concept of organ reuse isn't new. There just wasn't the technology to deal with it in the past.

I may not be as learned as the priest you know. But I have yet to find any of the priests I know tell me organ donation goes against any scripture.




(This is just from a quick Google search)

So here's a (silly) attempt to address the priest's argument directly: what if you lose a part of your body long before your death? Is that okay? If yes, returning an organ a couple decades later than planned shouldn't be that big a problem, no?

BTW, in my religion, saying "I am not that smart and don't know how to..." is a sin :p

When you say "priest", do you mean Catholic priest? It makes a bit of a difference since their are various church decisions on the subject.

In case anyone is curious, Catholics actually do have similar concerns about bodily integrity. In contrast to Hinduism, cremation is discouraged. It’s interesting that the same justification has been used both for and against cremation. However organ donation is permitted on the grounds that God approves of life-giving generosity

Nah. The OP mentions "Hindu" priest.

Missed that, thanks.

When God asks for your organs that you donated at heaven's gate just tell Him its coming back after another 40 or so years.

There's nothing to be countered, it's not even an argument, it's a personal position

That's amazing! I'm super happy for you and your family!

Your comment gave me pause because it reminded me that it is opt-in not opt-out. It is an election cycle, I wonder if we could convince one of the candidates to switch us to opt-out rather than opt-in for organ donation.

> That's amazing! I'm super happy for you and your family!

> Your comment gave me pause because it reminded me that it is opt-in not opt-out. It is an election cycle, I wonder if we could convince one of the candidates to switch us to opt-out rather than opt-in for organ donation.

While I am personally an organ donor, I don't believe the state should be the defacto owner of my organs post mortem.

I've heard a proposal for a alternative to opt-in and opt-out which is 'forced choice'

How it works is a form to do some other thing (for example, get a driving license) has a checkbox to donate and one to not donate, and the form is rejected as incomplete if you don't choose one or the other.

This of course means you don't have to apply a default to those people, because they've made an explicit choice already.

Of course, you still have to work out what you'll do with people who haven't filled out the form - like the newborn baby mentioned at the start of this thread.

> Of course, you still have to work out what you'll do with people who haven't filled out the form - like the newborn baby mentioned at the start of this thread.

It could be opt-in or opt-out for everyone else. You don't have to solve the problem perfectly to make it better than it is today.

An idea - this binary choice can be attached to combination of reaching adulthood (18 or similar) and combination of obtaining state ID / passport.

For younger, parents can choose. If somebody wants to argue about teens, they can decide themselves / be not-decided by their choice until reaching adulthood.

While not strictly relevant, your comment reminded me of this article about how hard it apparently is to get the skull of a deceased relative in the US: “You Can’t Keep Your Parents’ Skulls” https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/09/why-you-...

(the Google searches it took me to find that article surely put me on some watch lists...)

This was fascinating and something I've never given even a passing thought to. I had long imagined most skeletons were plastic replicas and not the real deal. Thanks for sharing it!

I'm all for opt-out for a very simple reason.... doctors don't have to bother families in the midst of grief.

If you don't believe the state should be the defacto owner of your organs (I'd argue it's the recipient that ultimately ends up owning them, but whatever), then you can opt out.

It’s odd here in AU. It is opt-in, but I still (as the de facto partner) had to give final authorisation to go ahead with it. I don’t quite get it, and wish it was more respectful of the deceased.

It’s worth noting though that the process of saying yes and sorting that all out was in fact incredibly healing and cathartic for me. I wouldn’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing for grieving families to be involved in.

So who do they belong to? The earth that they’re eventually going back to?

I think emotionally I agree with you, but rationally I just cannot explain it.

Ostensibly they should belong to the estate of the deceased. As it is now, in the US (as I understand it) organs and body tissue is in this weird limbo of not being considered property. The original case law around this seems to exist to: 1) make it hard to go after doctors who do things you don't like with your discarded tissue (either destroying it, or giving it to the state for evidence), and 2) prevent trafficking in humans and their organs.

The second part seems to mean that only certain types of nonprofits can accept organs. From there they may or may not be able to profit off of the sale of the organ but instead the services to transport and maintain it. Then at a certain point, you've turned penises into lip filler, and then you can sell the lip filler (at a huge profit).

I replied elsewhere in the thread, but in a tldr kind of way: I think next of kin should get the organs (or the estate, as another commenter mentioned). In the case where there is no next of kin and the deceased did not express their wishes (in a will or similar), then, and only then, should the state gain custody of the body and dispose of it as the state sees fit.

I'd disagree with "as the state sees fit".

I have no problems with my organs being used to help others, either as direct spare parts for others, or for medical research.

But I'd take issue with (well, I'd be dead, so I could no longer take issue, but you catch my drift) my organs being used for just about any other type of research, since that could include research into better ways of killing one another, which I would consider a "bad thing".

Just extending that line of reasoning, what about your organs powering someone who goes on to do such research?

The Netherlands is switching to opt-out, it is a thing of huge controversy here.

Interesting it wasn't in the UK which has just done that

>While I am personally an organ donor, I don't believe the state should be the defacto owner of my organs post mortem.

Ahh you can't leave us hanging with just that. Can you elaborate more?

That's fair—while I think the state should be the owner of last resort (as in the case where no next of kin are available and the deceased did not leave a will or similar documentation of their wishes), I think the ownership of a deceased person's organs should transfer to their next of kin (if and only if the deceased did not express any wishes about their body post mortem), to be disposed of (in the legal sense) as they see fit.

According to ethics textbooks, even if a person opted-in, the family could still say no to the doctors after the donor passed away.

This is the option I was given in Australia. I don’t quite understand it (I can see arguments, I’m not sure however if they’re valid), but I’m glad not for the choice but rather that I was involved in the process. It was healing.

I personally like the idea of allowing others to make use of these useful organs, especially since the original owner can't use them anymore and they'll decay within days (if not hours).

That said I don't agree with forcing people to something they don't want to and I know that there are at least a couple of religions out there that forbid cutting up the body after death.

The 'forced choice' option (in one of the other comments) is a really good one, IMHO

> That said I don't agree with forcing people to something they don't want to

It is hard to argue both that not donating one's organs would be a strongly held religious belief, and that someone would not care about it enough to communicate that desire by just opting out.

Something similar (viral heart damage) happened to my wife this year and I just can't imagine how terrifying that must have been to happen to your child. It's bad enough for an adult.

Thankful that we both got a second chance this year!

Wow, I'm super thankful for hearing that and as a father of a 2 year old it makes me extremely sad and happy at the same time.

Great thanksgiving it is - Tearing up over here at my desk...

I can't imagine the uncertainty and the pain you would have gone through but this news is truly something that gives everyone goosebumps :). Good luck for everything ahead, mate!

I was just about to say the same about organ donation status.

I am very thankful my Kidney donor and to all the teams that support me post and pre transplant.

So great to read about this on Thanksgiving night. Just had a lovely day with my daughter (20 months). She has added so much joy to my family's life. We hope to do the same for her. You have so much to look forward to. Congrats on fatherhood.

That is great! I contacted an unknown virus that basically destroyed my heart this year. Currently I do not need a transplant but will eventually. I'm thankful for not dieing and my sister for saving my life.

This is so nice to hear & thanks for sharing it with us. Believe it or not, just today I was watching "Transplanting Hope" in Amazon Prime (NOVA). Was able to connect immediately!

This concern has held me back from becoming an organ donor: there have been concerns [0] [1] for many years about use of donor tissue in plastic surgery. I'm more than happy to get turned into life-saving donor parts, but am not okay with being turned into lip fillers for someone to sell to some diva. How can I make sure that my organs go _only_ to life-saving causes?

[0]: https://www.chron.com/news/health/article/Some-donated-tissu...

[1]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22822698

If I’m dead then I don’t think I’d really care much at that point. If more of my dead body can be utilized before it becomes waste, then that’s cool.

Fine, but the point is that I do. I'd like to become an organ donor, and an organ donor _only_. How do I ensure I can do some good without getting cut up for plastic surgery?

That's really great to hear. I wish your daughter and family the best.

I opted out of organ donation in a country which enables it by default. Looking at it from an evolutionary point of view, I don't see any good in it, sorry.

Do you also abstain from

- hospitals

- medicine

- glasses / other similar implements

- any other human altering measures?

We closed the door on natural evolution a long time ago. Most of us are already cyborgs with our phones and computers. Any future evolution will be done by us (I.e. more advanced cyborgs cyborgs / genetic modification).

Everything not curative for a problem that doesn't let you live without treatment is an aberration. Since organ donation is not saving people, but enabling to be dependent on donations every 10 years and immunosuppressants in between (except for cornea transplants), I don't want to enable it.

The much anticipated collapse will apply those sort of rules soon enough anyways.

... glasses would fall under that scope.

It's not helpful to still be thinking in such antiquated ways like evolution through the fittest survivors. Humans have not done that for quite a long time, in pretty much every facet of our society you can find that.

As I said, genetic modification and cyber augmentation will be how we evolve moving forward. Advances in medicine has (and will) make worrying about evolution a headscratcher.

> Since organ donation is not saving people,

[Citation Needed]. I would imagine there's many cases, such as accidents, where someone would need an organ and then be perfectly fine afterwards.

Its hubris to imagine that evolution stops. Mating opportunities are controlled by different things for humans vs fish for example. But don't imagine they aren't there, and guiding our species' development.

Homo Sapiens has evolved more in the last 50,000 years, than in the 1M before that. Because of civilization.

Random mutations are always going to exist. For the third time, future evolution is going to be directly caused -by us-, on shorter timescales. Because the alternative is letting humans die simply for the sake of evolution.

Confused. You think organ donation is bad because it saves lives that should end for the sake of...maybe a slightly stronger species? Do you disagree with the practice of medicine in general or something?

Everything not curative.

-I was laid off ~60 days back. Being on H1B( I'm an indian, who attended school here and been living here since last 10 years) means either I gotta get a job in 2 months or pack my bag. I got a better job and I'm gonna start working on this monday :) - Good physical health, decent mental health. Universe have been very kind to me. I wish this kindness persists and I could become better self of myself.

Happy thanksgiving to y'all!

Great, it really sucks that people on work visas can basically be threatened with deportations by their employers like this because of all the ways unemployment can go wrong. Good look with the new job :)

It also sucks for locals because some corps will strongly preference people on work visas since they basically own the employees.

Is it possible that at some point someone in your family tree was preferred for employment due to their immigration, or perhaps other status, which created opportunities that brought you to where you are today?

No, my ancestors were very likely somewhat involved in the violent takeover of Australia.

Well, that as you say, sounds like it "sucks for locals" to be certain.

I don't think you want to work in a place like this. Maybe they're doing you a favor if you think of it

Why? EVERY temporary work visa I have ever had has had a declaration section where I acknowledge that its temporary and in no way entitles me to residence. Its not a hidden suprise.

Acknowledging that it sucks doesn't mean it doesn't suck. It's unfortunate for anyone to have such an unstable residency, where they could have to uproot their life back to the other side of the world with very little notice, on top of being laid off.

Then why did they take the deal? When my gig ended, I ended the lease of my flat and went home.

What I didn’t do was bleat that I should be entitled to segue it into residence

In USA, H1B visa is a dual intent visa and implies a possible path to permanent residence and citizenship. This was shared with me by the immigration officer back in my country of origin (he was not interested in my ties to my country of origin and explained this when I asked why).

Congratulations to you. Well done bouncing back quickly!

Thank you :)


That's unduly personal. Please don't do that here.


Could've, should've, would've!

I'm not sure you caught the vibe of this thread too well :-)

A few months ago another cancerous spot popped up. The oncologist wanted to hold off a bit and see how it was reacting to my current medication. I wasn't thrilled about this since your urge is to just get in there and kill it. But he probably knows best. But about a week ago he said that since it isn't spreading they might as well go in and zap it with some radiation.

This is ideal since I can deal with a bit more radiation and I was worried I was looking at more chemo. I'm really sick of chemo, but as long as it it isn't neck/mouth radiation it is easy.

So next week I go in for a "simulation" where I get put in a person-sized beanbag and they put in a IV to inject contrast and then they stick me in a CT machine to map out exactly where they need to radiate. And then they suck the air out of the beanbag and mold it around you. A "Han Solo frozen in carbonite" situation. That way you can't move when they actually administer the radiation. That and they shove a tube in your mouth and turn off your breathing for a while so your abdomen doesn't move. The first time having my breathing turned off was a problem. But I have hitting the cardio hard for the last six months so it should be a breeze.

Hopefully radiation will start the week after that. And it is only five treatments (20 minutes) spread out over two weeks. Chemo would have been months of significant discomfort. It is all horrible but this is a lot less horrible. But now that there is a real plan to deal with this I am in a much better head-space. I was a bit of a grump until a few days ago. Now I am happy working on stuff around the house instead of just sitting and bitching about everything.

> I was a bit of a grump

No wonder. I wish you good luck!

How do they stop your breathing? And for how long?

They put in what is essentially a tube similar to what a scuba diver would wear with a piece that goes between your gums and lips. Then they monitor your breathing for a bit and they start to countdown. Then they just turn off a valve and no air can get in. As long as you don't panic your chest doesn't move. If you do panic they make you take Ativan before each treatment.

I'm extremely claustrophobic so I take a number of pills before each treatment to relax.

Last time I had this done they stopped it seven times for about 90 seconds each time. The first time they did a countdown from 90 letting me know how long to hold my breathe. The countdown made it about a billion times worse so I asked them to stop. Now I just close my eyes and let the pills take me to a better place.

Is the ability to hold your breath for 90 seconds common? I can’t imagine doing this. At least not without days or weeks of preparation.

It is when when you have to. And it isn't like being underwater. You pretty much close your eyes and go to a different place. And like I said. Pills help a lot.

And I had practiced (sitting at my desk) once I knew what had to be done and really struggled. No doubt, once they said I could breathe I spent a few minutes gasping for air.

But I have been shooting hoops for about 45 minutes everyday in the driveway for months. So my cardio is way better than the first time I had to do this. This time will be a picnic. The nice thing about radiation is they let you pick what music you want. Being the horrible person I am I use it as a way to introduce the radiation techs to new music.

90 seconds is uncommon for complete novices, but most people can get to 2-3 minutes within a day or two of training. It's almost entirely psychological up to that point; blood oxygen levels barely drop for the first few minutes you hold your breath while at rest. You just need to learn what the sensations are, that they are normal, that you aren't at risk (assuming you've done some basic amount of safety education), and to relax into it.

I'm thankful for being raised by a great mother, father, and grandmother; and for finding a wonderful and supportive wife.

I'm thankful for living in the United States, where many of my inherent rights are as of now still not infringed.

I'm thankful for having the luck and predilection for being in the software industry, which has been good to me overall.

I'm thankful for Clojure, and the JVM, and all the other software I use to build my career on that has been given to me for free.

I'm thankful for the health I have despite mistakes made.

I'm thankful I still have life ahead of me.

To be reunited with the woman I married who had a mental health crisis and divorced me in the throes of it. She could have ended up dead or homeless but somehow managed to stay safe enough that when police intervened and called her family she was able to get the help and diagnosis she needed.

We’ve been back together for nearly two years now but it’s really sinking in now how close we all came to losing her permanently to death or ending up another nameless face on the streets.

Wow. Really happy for the both of you.

Despite 12 years of terrible grades, due to an education system that simply didn't fit, which pretty much banned me from engineering or computer science in university, I still managed to find a different route into software engineering. I love it. It challenges me every day. It is exciting and engaging and fun. I've found self-drive and motivation without the need for medication anymore. And because of it my family gets to grow up in a household where there's never any fights about money, something that was all too present when I was a kid.

I'm thankful for finding our first and hopefully last home this year. It's amazing how different it feels to have a stake in the ground. Everything feels worth doing properly, spending a little extra on, taking care of.

I'm thankful for my family's good health. Part of that is thankfulness for living in a part of the world where my employment isn't tied to our health. I feel so lucky that I'm in charge of my future and don't feel in any way controlled by, "but I can't quit, I need health insurance/mortgage payment/ etc." It's a liberating feeling to be able to walk away at any minute if I really needed to. When my mom got sick my dad instantly retired and they spent the twilight of her life travelling the world. What an amazing gift.

I relate to this a lot. I managed a six figure career as a software engineer with bad school grades and no college.

I’m grateful I can get out of bed in the morning and walk around on my own feet. There have been mornings when I couldn’t.

I am grateful to be able to relieve myself without needing help. They’ve been days I couldn’t do that either. Sometimes it’s the little things, like not spending Thanksgiving with a catheter.

I’m extremely grateful to have a partner who loves me. There have been a LOT of days when I didn’t.

I’m grateful to have a job. Again, there have been days when I didn’t. Not many but enough.

I’m grateful to have a body that mostly works, the freedom and ability to travel, whether to the corner store or around the world, rewarding work, and people in my life who treat me with kindness. I am very blessed.

My kids are launching into adult life and finding their callings and paths.

I am thankful for my expanding understanding of family. My wife's ex is maybe not a brother but close. Our Christmas mornings have exes, current and former in-laws, kids, and extended family all mixed together in wonderful fun ways.

This year a half sister, I didn't know I had, connected with me. The first DNA relative I can talk with about tech. Now we are catching up on 40 plus years of life we didn't share!

The never ending energy to learn, grow, and expand my self awareness.

The many ways love comes to us.

That is so rare that an extended family like that gets along that well, I'm so happy to hear that it's actually possible, kudos to you all!

I'm thankful for being born in a first world country with parents who could care for me.

I'm thankful to work in an industry where I can take a multi-year sabbatical and still find employment within a couple weeks, where I can work remotely and pay my month's rent in only a couple days of work.

I'm thankful for all the good people I've met in my life.

And I'm thankful for my health.

What's your specific area of expertise and work?

Just full stack web development, nothing special.

That's alsow what I would like to know

Me too.

I'm thankful that my youngest daughter is still alive after attempting suicide. I'm also thankful for all of the people who intervened and supported her during two very frightening months.

I hope things get better for your daughter/family!

Thank you. They seem to be, and our family is optimistic.

I'm thankful for my mental health. Seems like these days half my friends are on anti-anxiety and depression medication.

I'm thankful for my physical health too. I may be a little overweight but it's still above average for my friend group. I get sick maybe twice a year, certainly beats being on dialysis or whatever.

I'm thankful for having a family, someone I belong to, and who belongs to me.

I'm thankful for having a good job. We get stressed out sometimes (downsides of a startup), but they're all good, honest folk. And we haven't adopted bureaucratic processes yet, so it's been great for my flow.

> Seems like these days half my friends are on anti-anxiety and depression medication.

I am immensely grateful for my anti-anxiety medication.

I too am immensely grateful for my ADHD medication. I would still prefer to not _need_ them.

Anti-anxiety medication doesn't seem to be working for me, but I am having a hard time figuring out what to do next with my psychiatrist. It's not as if switching medication is somehow better than sticking with something that's of unknown efficacy. Ugh.

That sucks. Everyone’s different but, some anecdotes from my experience...

The Lexapro that I’m on right now basically did nothing for me at 10mg, but I stuck with it for almost a year. I eventually went to try and get something else, and humoured the psych by trying to go to 15mg first. The change was dramatic and positive.

I started doing the keto diet for strictly weight related reasons, and found that as a side effect it also had a big impact. Took eight weeks or so before I noticed a difference.

Cutting my alcohol consumption has also seemed to have a pretty good effect.

I’ve found beta blockers to be great for any break-through anxiety, but might be placebo effect.

I'm sorry to hear that. My psychiatrist told me the anti-anxiety/-depressant I'm taking is noticeably effective in 1/3, someone effective in 1/3, and not effective in 1/3. I got lucky and fell into the first group. I would've definitely jumped around to other medications had this not worked so noticeably and so quickly, but that's easy to say. A friend of mine who wasn't seeing good results from the typical medications has started something called Rexulti, which he told me has been a godsend.

Same. I can't describe how thankful I am that a freaking pill [!] exists that can prevent dark thoughts from digging their claws in. It's been almost two years now and I wish I'd had this my whole life.

I'm in a similar boat- thankful for my dog, my partner, my house and - a big one for me this year - beating depression and losing 40lbs. Good job that I love as well.

All in all this year has had a lot of major ups and downs but really thankful for my progress and overall for my health and happiness!

ME TOO. I somehow seem to have a well of emotional and mental energy to work on hobbies and nearly everyone I know struggles with motivation.

I’m thankful for my parents, though imperfect, have done their best to raise me and setup an environment where I can have a fulfilling and financially successful life as a software developer.

Thankful I have a history degree so I can stop stressing about the news and put the broader strokes in context.

Thankful I work in an industry, that despite thinking software can solve everything, still has a culture of tackling big problems.

Thankful for my healthy kids that keep me on my toes. Thankful for my wife who puts up with me and all my quirks.

Thankful for having met and learned from so many colleagues smarter than me in my field.

Thankful for clients of my consulting firm that have placed their sacred trust in me and my colleagues. I’m forever humbled by your choice to work with me.

>> Thankful I have a history degree so I can stop stressing about the news and put the broader strokes in context.

I'd love to know your take on current events in the US.

I suppose it just gives me perspective that “this too shall pass”. And that these conflicts take longer than one lifetime to win...

More specifically, the years since the civil war up until the last few decades have had this post civil-war reconciliation that was rooted in trying to let bygones be bygones amongst whites. But it also setup an environment where post civil war problems of blacks (ie lynching, suppression of civil rights) were ignored to forward reconciliation. Republicans switched from a party focused on civil rights to one focused on business.

In the post ww2 period - in the past few decades, since the civil rights movement has partisanship gradually grown to its current conflict. There’s a lot clearly rooted in white identity/status in GOP needs for power (a definition of “whiteness”, btw, that would be alien to Americans 100 years ago)

There’s a constant connection through US history between coded ethnic discrimination and partisanship. But that the country goes through cycles: between of ethnic division to conflict to integration into more unified identity

So I have a skepticism that “partisanship is bad”. Rather I’m wondering how the cycle continues. This point of conflict, is a chance for building a new/different society with expanded human rights. Fighting for human rights is a fight beyond any one election, generation, or lifetime and it has to be fought with that attitude.

I would recommend the new Frederick Douglass biography as well as learning about the abolitionist movements in general. Talk about a seeming hopeless struggle against entrenched interests...

"I’m thankful for my parents"

I must admit that I didn't really appreciate what my parents must have gone through (and the grief I must have given them) until I had kids myself.

I'm thankful for my family. And for not living in one of those mafia run country where you don't have any freedom of speech. I'm thankful not to have religion force on me. I'm thankful for having well stocked supermarkets so I can easily feed my family. I'm thankful that our police and sheriffs are not our enemy or used as a tool of suppression. I'm thankful that when our news organizations get disgusted with corruptions and wrong doing, they sometimes exposes the rich and powerful. I'm thankful for a fair judicial system where you are judged fairly. I'm thankful that good people exists in the world that still takes care of one another.

And you never said where you live

Why does it matter? It's what s/he is thankful for.

Winning the lottery of life, being born in Australia after world war 2 where everyone born is in the global top 1%.

Lottery of life indeed. I have been to many places in this world, and have seen many things that make me thankful I was born in a place where there is the opportunity to have a good and comfortable life if I make the effort to make it happen. A lot of people in a lot of places have been dealt such a shitty hand that their opportunities for a life similar to mine are near zero, no matter what they do in life.

Same for US, Japan, Germany, UK, and France

That's not true in the US's case (or basically any country, for that matter). Sorry for breaking your fantasy.


Canada, New Zealand, Singapore

I am thankful for the fact that now over 7 years ago, I turned my life around. Being in a downward spiral, I met my wife who was also in one. But then, after long talks, we got our act together, and nowadays we are a family of 5, are financially well off, travel a lot, never stop learning and educating ourselves, soon buy a big house. Saying that, I am also very thankful for the great education my country provides for "free" (yes I know it is paid for by taxes, which I also pay a lot). It made it possible to attend University besides working. I just have to put work in. So anyone who is willing to make their lives better, can do so.

I'm thankful that I was born in the amazing, peaceful country of Australia with a high quality of life.

I'm thankful my boys are healthy and happy.

I'm thankful for my amazing wife who has always pushed me to follow my dreams.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to work in the software industry, well-paid and not toiling in manual labour, for a company that treats its employees well and is a pleasure to work for.

I'm thankful for the incredible luck that seems to follow me wherever I go.

I am thankful for having been born at the end of the 70s, just at the right time. Had I been born substantially earlier, I probably would not have survivesd as I started into this world with a tumor in both eyes which was treated with a ton of radiation when I was still an infant. Technology was already advanced, but not "too much". I was lucky enough to experience the newsgroup era on the internet, a time when people were still using ASCII and fixed fonts to convey complex information. I was able to take part in a lot of things which today would no longer be possible as the technologies employed are mostly inherently inaccessible. My understanding of the world is to a large extent based on the fact that in the past, I could participate a lot easier then is possible today.

So, had I been born earlier, I would have died. And had I been born later, I would have felt the digital divide even more harshly then I already do.

I have light asthma and I think of the timing of my arrival in this world at times too. Had I been born a few hundred years earlier, I probably would not have survived as I had to do a lot of physical hard work which I can't always.

Thank you for posting this, I'm thankful for people who remind us to be thankful for what we've got.

This includes the protestors in Hong Kong reminding my countrymen of the value of democracy.

Five demands, not one less.

I am thankful for being alive and in good physical and mental health. I am thankful to myself who keeps on pushing and not giving up when there are challenges in life. I am thankful to all those people who spread positivity in this world and doing their bit to make this world a better place. I am thankful to God who blessed me with what all I have. I am thankful for having such a nice and supportive family. I may be far away from them but they live inside me.

There are countless things to be thankful for and grateful for. It's just we don't realize different things we are blessed with.

I'm thankful that people want to pay me ludicrous sums of money to do the thing I love.

I've seen my friends who have the same passion for art, or literature, or even STEM fields like biology and psychology, struggle to make a living "doing what they love." Many of them end up as baristas and uber drivers while they try to make it in their chosen fields.

Me? I went to school for something I found fun. I didn't choose programming because it was a wise career move - I chose it because people told me if I do what I love, I'd never work a day in my life.

I've certainly made some decent career moves. I moved to where the jobs were, I learned some hot technologies, and I learned a bit about the business side of things. But overall, my very comfortable position in life is due to luck.

Luck that I was exposed to programming early on.

Luck that I was able to take a traditional, safe path from "I like coding" to "I have a job coding."

But most of all, luck that when I got out of school, there was ridiculous demand for the thing I would have done for fun anyway.

I'm thankful that the job market is great for devs in SF, and that I love software dev. As a result, I try my best to be aware that most people are fighting a much more uphill battle than me.

Similarly, I’m thankful for my good fortune in going to a high school that offered programming classes; for having enough computer-savviness to become a software developer; that this field is unregulated enough that someone like me can earn an almost-unconscionably-good living doing something that, like you said, would be a hobby anyways. I have my dream job, I have a beautiful son and partner, our family is in good health, and are aware of the areas that we should be working to better ourselves... I just hope to make enough of a positive impact from the incredible head start the universe has given me. I’m thankful for this chance to play the game, and I’m thankful that the game exists to be played.

Definitely this for me as well. When I was younger I was at an interesting crossroads with my freetime where I'd either program or play video games obsessively. I decided to try putting that video game energy into improving my programming ability, and 10 years later now I'm in the valley making FAANG wages at a young age and still absolutely love programming. I have no idea how my life would have turned out if I didn't luck into discovering this amazing hobby. I feel bad calling my job "work" since I very rarely don't feel like coming in.

I'm thankful to live in a country that respects my basic human rights. Having met those less fortunate, I've realized I've taken this for granted way too long. Birth is the greatest randomizer to your life.

which country?

I'm thankful to Dr.Sarno for his book called Healing back pain which gave me my life back from the crippling back pain.

I was in so much pain 2 years ago that all I could think about was pain but reading his book about TMS and applying his teachings has virtually reduced my pain to almost nothing without any pills, surgery, physio or exercise.

So thank you Dr.Sarno. You have changed the life of many people all over the world with your research.

I'm glad you got better, but I am baffled at how enthusiastic folks are about this book. I think this Amazon review sums up my concerns pretty well: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R3M3YGYR7X3P9L/re...

I'm also quite thankful for HN, and the broader community ("software people"?), for helping me find something that I really enjoy doing and a community to be in the service of.

Other than that: family is relatively happy and healthy, and next to that there are few things to possibly ask for.

I am thankful for a wonderful family. We have our moments of despair but I don't know where I would be without a loving wife and an overly curious 5 year old kid :)

I am thankful for coming across a habit that makes me think about what I am thankful for regularly. This has really helped me overcome a pessimistic nature and provides a sort of regular check-in on my life.

I'm thankful for having finally found a beautiful home that I could afford in a very populated city

I'm thankful for the birth of my beautiful, happy and healthy baby

I'm thankful for working in an industry where my skills are in demand and has plenty of opportunities to work from home

I'm thankful for my wife who is an incredibly strong, kind and inspiring woman as well as an amazing mom

I'm thankful for living in the U.S which has given me many opportunities to be grateful for

I'm thankful that I've managed to move to a better place than my hometown which doesn't have mountains and keep it going for a while, my supportive and chill gf, apartment in an awfully difficult market, physical health, these sweet Muji pens, discovery of some of the best hip-hop artists/groups over the last few months (MF doom, Danger Mouse, Del the Funky Homosapien, Mos Def, Jurassic 5), Underworld's new record, my family still mostly being alive, and finding a new job despite an atrocious employment record and recent ADD epiphany. Less thankful for misophonia, could do without that.

I'm thankful for my wife. I fell in love with her when I was 17. I'm 32 now and I haven't stayed more than a week away from her. It's the single greatest source of happiness in my life.

I'm thankful for stumbling into a career that has allowed me to make a comfortable living without dealing with the BS of bosses and commuting and wearing stuffy suits.

I'm thankful for the internet, for I owe my career to it. If it wasn't for the wonderful people and communities and blogs online, I wouldn't know the things I do, and I would have never made a living.

Are you me? I met my wife at 17, and will be 32 in a month :)

Congrats :)

It's something extraordinary, isn't it?

I am thankful that after being addicted to weed for over a year, I got my shit together. I started weightlifting 3* a week, have gotten myself into a postgrad programme, and have been steadily losing weight. I have also recently started writing every day.

I'm a much better person now, and have mostly kicked the depression and anxiety (even though they show up sometimes).

I had a friend I recently had to cut ties with because he refused to seek help for mental health problems and just self-medicated with marijuana. For context, a mutual friend who owns an edibles company though he consumed too much.

Very curious of your thoughts on marijuana addiction if you’d be willing to share.

This was one of the first times I had to break off a friend because they refused to take care of their mental health. (But mostly a response to a psychotic break and political rant that I decided to walk away from instead of engage in)

It really helped me through a pretty dark period in my life. I had an existential crisis straight out of university.

I think there's value in it as a drug. I thought very creatively while on it, and wrote down a lot of notes for my fiction writing.

The downside for me was that it made it very difficult to motivate myself to exercise and improve my life. I stopped and was going to the gym 3* a week shortly after.

I haven't smoked in over a year, and will probably only do it on special occasions or with friends, if at all.

It's a wonderful drug for sharing experiences, thinking creatively, or getting outside of a rut in your thinking.

But it is not nearly as harmless as people say it is, and I'm glad I've given it up.

I had a long term, off and on again, thoroughly toxic relationship. Many years.

I ended it this year, am totally out, and have never felt happier, lighter, and more confident about my life.

Sorry, I guess there’s a lot of stuff in that I’m thankful for :)

I'm so thankful for the civilization we're living in. We take if for granted, but most of what we do is due to the fact that we have so many technological abstractions in so many aspects of our lives. Like just eating a breakfast in the morning would not be as good/easy 50k years ago.

On a more personal note, I'm thankful for having stopped checking facebook since about a year now, and feeling better, having more time, and building my own company.

Definitely not my family. Friends have been far less toxic, and those that know me hold a great amount of respect for me which they've shared with me over the past few years. I'm very thankful that an outsider feels that way about me because my family makes me feel like I'm a zero, when I've worked hard to live up to my own high standards.

I'm mainly thankful for my integrity and solid character that I've built over decades, which requires years of dedication and sacrifice. My persistent and resilient nature through adversity and having continually improved and challenged myself. I've accomplished every single goal that I've put my mind to. I know if the economy and currency collapses, as long as I have at least one hand that I'll survive when others are putting guns to their heads. I can't be broken or demoralized and I can't be stopped, and I'm very thankful for that. Hard work is how we achieve stability in this life, and I can push through work projects no matter how horrible. I'm thankful for that.

I've always told myself, "to stop me, this is going to have to kill me", whether it was a physical or mental task, and I have no idea where this motivation sprang from, it must be genetic because I've been that way all of my life, but I'm thankful for it. Even as I was abandoned and unsupported physically/emotionally/psychologically by family since I was a child and still speaks ill of me behind my back even as I approach middle age. I'm thankful to have worked a tax-paying job since 12, and worked before then under the table (yes, I'm American, born and raised).

I don't think we should be thankful for material things, friends or family because both are fickle. Be thankful for your own character. And if you lack character and integrity, build it even if it requires work, because no one can take it away. You'll be surprised as people notice and respect you, even if you have no money, and strength of character may serve you well in the years ahead during the coming challenging economic times.

Thanks for this. I've been having a rough couple years and this really helps out. I've grown more as a person than I did in the prior 10 years. That is something to be thankful for.

Strength of character is forged in the fires of adversity.

Absolutely. I posted it for that reason. I thought that people needed to hear another perspective than the whole "my family" line. Not everyone has all of these luxuries. We're truly on our own, not kinda-sorta on our own. You'll make it my friend, and you'll feel the fear in the hearts of men around you when times are tough, and you'll be built for it.

Thankful to grow up in country where hospitals are free(I have never needed medical attention but close family members) and higher-education is paid for so I could study for 6 years without stressing about money.

Wow, where did you grow up?




Not even close! (Sweden) Do you have the same perks in Bangladesh? :)

Everything. My life, my great job, my relationships, my vehicle,apartment,health,security and much more.

Above all things, I am grateful to my God's grace,blessings and Mercy through which I have all these things and many more.

Which of us can fail to find something to complain about in this short life? I can tell you I can find plenty with minimal effort. It is so easy to forget the things you're thankful for when you complain. And when you forget those things hope fleets away and without hope you have nothing to look forward to, no reason to endure another today, no ability to enjoy today as you wait for "some day". Here is to appreciating our beliefs,hopes and posessions so that we may forge a tomorrow that is better than today.

I like that question!

I am thankful for School 42 - Paris. In France, it is the only school which offer a (very) good software engineering training for free. Without that school, I would have made a 3-year study in a public school and my life would not have been nowhere close my today's life.

I am thankful for all the people who likes and accept me even if I may be a weird guy.

I am thankful for the enterprise where I am working since 2 years, it is a real family.

And, I am thankful to all the individuals, organizations, open-source project, initiatives, all around the world which makes a better world to live in.

Last but not least, I am thankful to all the people which are hidden, but makes our lives being worth to live in today standards.

I'm thankful that my mother was able to "beat" cancer for at least the time being. I am extremely grateful for the time that I have with her.

I am thankful to music, for being so diverse, and so amazing. It has given my life much meaning in times of both light and dark.

I am thankful to nature; hills, valleys, wind, water, stars, forests and mountains, for their indescribable beauty

I'm thankful for the health of my family, and that of my extended one. I'm thankful for the support and care of my close friends, and I wish the best for them. I'm thankful for a flourishing career in my 20s, after having left university with mental health, and confidence issues that left me in the lowest point in my life, up to that point. I'm thankful that I made better choices that align way better with my sense of self, and what I truly want in this life. I'm also incredibly grateful for the mentorship I've been receiving along the way.

I am thankful for the path that has lead me to who and where I am.

I am thankful that all the whinges and gripes I hear from most people are microscopically trivial in the scope of humanity's history because it means that life is good.

I am thankful that I can recognize this.

I am thankful for Pi-Hole (which reminds me, I need to donate to it)

I'm thankful for having a girlfriend that loves me and supports me

I'm thankful I was born in a family that teach me good values and kept me away from drugs and bad life

I'm thankful for having a job

I'm thankful for having a roof over my head

I'm thankful for having good physical health

I'm thankful for having food at home every day

I'm thankful for having a computer and internet connection

I'm thankful I can go to eat out at least once a month

I'm thankful I had the chance to study as a software engineer

I'm thankful I had the chance to improve my career by working outside my original country

I'm thankful I was born in Europe

My 3 y/o son received an autism diagnosis earlier this year. Seeing him do so well starting school this fall and starting to have lots of new words is what I'm thankful for!

You have a long road ahead of you--but it's a good road. Mine was diagnosed around 5 and is now in high school. That diagnosis meant services and accommodations that he was able to receive, which if he had not received, would have meant a much more difficult road through school. Thankfully our district does an amazing job working with him (and other special needs children).

It's an experience being a parent of an autistic child, but I wouldn't trade it. Certainly something to be grateful for.

Thanks :) I really appreciate hearing more experiences. I adore him, and I’m thankful he did get the diagnosis because we’ve had access to a lot more services. I also know each autistic child is different!

I’m also very curious to see how having a neurotypical little sister impacts his growth. Already seems to be having a big impact.

Insurance has been a big stress point but we’re navigating and getting Medicare has helped a bit.

A lot of things. A loving, healthy and supportive family above all. Good close friends. Good health, mental and physical. Good genetics.

Also, living in our time, in our part of the world, where technology, wealth and opportunity is everywhere. Being intelligent, and having the opportunity to learn and be curious. Having significant economic freedom.

Having had the luck and skill to learn a profession that's well paid and in high demand. Being in a society where it's acceptable to not use all your energies at work, but take significant unpaid time off work regularly. The market economy, which for all its practical drawbacks provides a lot of opportunity for saving and applying my small degree of personal power and influence, to provide good quality of life for those around me and myself.

Also importantly, which might not be mentioned too much in these contexts, a healthy and interesting sex life. Living in a society where there's plenty of space for safely and consentually living out freakier proclivities, and for having the personal traits that make this possible. A society that has space for and accepts sexual minorities, be it queer, trans, kinky or any of the other variations of the well-known mainstream. And many of these people.

I'm glad I ended up in a career I love. I love the mental problems, I like the high pay, I like having work flexibility, I like my coworkers. And I feel blessed that alls these factors have remained positive across 5 companies. Life is good.

Software Engineering? Mathematics Professor?

Software engineer :)

I'm thankful for having the most beautiful daughter in the world.

I'm thankful that my job pays me good money compared to most people.

I'm thankful I can work everyday from home.

We don't generally celebrate Thanksgiving here in Germany, but perhaps we should :-)

I'm thankful for the strength to tackle my tasks and responsibilities, many dear friends near and far and a family that is still (for the most part) close by. Also, the opportunity to spend my life working on things I enjoy and that have a positive impact on others.

I'm thankful for my parents. Because of their planning, saving, and support, I graduated college despite mental health issues, a "I'm thinking of suicide" note, and breaking off a wedding engagement to move back in with my parents.

Now I have a degree in a subject I loved, a nice desk job that encourages me to research and apply new ideas, a wife who is the fiancee I broke up with, and a home in a great school district for our future child. We just got back from a trip to the West Coast and are planning to go to Japan and Germany in the future.

The odds of this life were not in my favor, despite being a white American from the middle class (though those didn't hurt). I am lucky. I and everyone who feels this lucky should give other people chances to stumble on their own lucky path.

> Now I have a degree in a subject I loved

Is that "d" a typo or is this a little speck of sadness inside an otherwise heartwarming story?

I won a green card lottery 3 years ago. I am still thankful to God to this day that I am blessed. Even though I kept getting rejected from FAANG I am still thankful.

Start your own startup.

Ah, I did 4 years ago, and it failed. I learned a lot from that process. But I realized that I am currently (5 years into my software engineering career) don't have the ideas and expertise (in terms of domain specific problems) or the funding. To start my own startup seems 10x harder than just doing leetcode and getting into FAANG.

Thankful for my health, life may not be going my way at the moment but I know someone out there is just wishing they were just healthy for once.

I am glad to be alive. It was touch and go for a while but I think I am out of the woods.

I'm thankful for having had people in my life that have given me opportunity when I frankly didn't deserve the opportunity. I'm very conscious to make sure that I pass that kindness on when it's appropriate.

Incredibly thankful for the overwhelming opportunity we are all afforded in our industries. As many gripes and flaws we all enjoy pontificating about, there simply is no other line of work such as ours.

Having a well paying job that I enjoy.

Having a supportive family where we can enjoy Thanksgiving together.

All the things I have achieved this year such as getting promoted and learning more about NLP with deep learning.

Getting rid of a lot of debt.

Im thankful for the world I was born into. A relatively non violent world while the internet is establishing. Im standing on the shoulders of great people that brought electricity, computers, math, writing, language, art, and all of the discoveries that made what i do possible. The fact that the universe randomly produced cells that combined and turned into humans. Im a stupid pretty useless creature, but with humanity I'm able to apply my mind, be happy, and evolve with others. It's truly awe inspiring.

I’m thankful for all of the mentors I’ve had thus far. There’s really something special about sharing your passions with someone at a stage much earlier than you.

To the professors who showed me programming, and statistics...

To the successful business men who gave me connections to build a network...

All of my bosses, who have given me opportunities to grow...

I’m grateful. And I’m ever more grateful because I recognize many people do not experience the privileges I’ve had. Life has never been a clear or straight path, but mentors have always shown me the paths to take.

I'm thankful for my friend who brought me up here to Pennsylvania and saved me from having to continue living with heroin addicts who were constantly accusing me of using them when they were the ones using me. I'm also thankful that he has been there for me for the past few years trying to push me along in the right path, and that I finally got the message and realized that it's time to stop sabotaging myself and work towards my future. I am also thankful that he has given me a position within his company as one of the early members of it as an account manager, and also the opportunities I have identified to write code and automate business processes, as I have not had the motivation or drive to write any substantial amount of code in years. I am also thankful that he has taken a hard line on my sobriety and facilitated an environment where I can finally work towards learning more about my "true" self, not the self that is hidden behind layers of drugs and escapism.

Most of all, I'm thankful that for the first time since my son was in my life, that I feel alive and like I have purpose again. I'm thankful to be here in this moment, and I am thankful that I have an outlet here on hacker news to share what I am thankful for :)

I'm grateful for countless things. Specific to this forum, I'm thankful for everyone who freely and graciously shares their time, knowledge and experiences.

Thankful I get to live where I do, and mostly get to work on passion projects all the time. I have an amazingly talented and supportive wife (hey honey wanna go sleep in your minivan and compete in this hackathon with me?! I’ll do backend you do front end!), and amazingly supportive, ideologically aligned friends with whom I get to work on the aforementioned passion projects with.

I’m really, really lucky, and I try not to ever let myself forget it.

I'm thankful for my family and the great support I've gotten from them.

I'm thankful for the healthcare system which has provided a great deal for my brother, even though progress is slow.

I'm thankful for my friends, their interest and enthusiasm.

I'm also thankful for HN and the greater tech community. My parents do not have a higher education and without HN and the surrounding internet I'm not sure I'd have pursued one.

Happy thanksgiving from Sweden!

Been grateful to have found job in another country and ditched toxic friendships and people from my born-city. Wages are 3-4x higher than what IT pays in my country, so I could afford to be stable and have a family, something now millennials are struggling for.

I am thankful to myself for having also deleted my Facebook account, removing also the above toxic relationships further.

I hope this thread repeats each Thanksgiving on HN.

Don't tell my boss but I have the greatest flipping job ever. Just another software dev but challenging, interesting, and yet not high pressure/intensity. Great compensation and recognition.

I'm healthy aside from the results of my poor diet. My family is healthy too.

Born in the US to a wealthier than average family. I am thankful that almost everything in my life has gone my way.

That the world is getting so much better for so many people. Here's a Twitter thread from 2017 going over just a few of ways the world has gotten better: https://twitter.com/DinaPomeranz/status/933409395278573569?s...

I can suggest you reading "factfulnes", by the late Hans Rosling.

It's a good book on how to approach the world, and much like his talks, it really pushes the idea that our world, though flawed, is often much better than we think it is.

I'm thankful to live in the greatest time yet. I'm grateful for all the opportunities for myself and my family, and for the current social/political environment. (Historically, it is peaceful and prosperous.) I'm thankful for my family and friends. I'm thankful for everything I've been given.

For having parents who saw the value of having a higher education despite never having been to university themselves. For actually having to work for everything I have and the fulfillment it brings knowing I'm where I am today purely through my own actions, not through the wealth or connections of well off parents.

I am grateful for the opportunity I have to be grateful (I am alive!). Every morning, as part of my hygiene, I figure out something I am grateful for. It could be something from day before or anything, I just don't want to repeat and there for be creative! But it help raise awareness not to live life for granted.

I used to do that every night. It's easy to look back and see that even in a shitty day there are things you should be happy for.

Somehow, I stopped. Doing it in the morning seems a good idea to start again.

Even better, if you meditate, start your session with gratitude!

I am thankful for close family; an opportunity to work on a project 'the right way' and learn lessons the hard way without extreme risk; a sound church with faithful and caring teachers; and dear friends that have meant and continue to mean the world to me through some very difficult times.

I'm thankful that I was lucky enough to be exposed to computers at the very young age of 6. Until I became around 11 or 12 years of age, most people only had routine access to them when working government or highly technical jobs (Eastern Europe in the 2000s), so I am aware it was a very kind gift from my parents.

They actually worried that I spent so much time playing video games afterward, but games taught me English, made me competitive for the first time, gave me a few tips on empathy, and helped me develop a passion for solving problems and understanding systems, which I tried to use to make my own games, which ultimately led me to pursue a career as an engineer (which eventually led me to HN, and eventually to this post. Ha!)

[1] Familiy, friends, [2] opportunities, [3] yoga + life.

[1] Grateful to always have been provided with anything I needed, wanted, didn't need, didn't want. While it's obviously a huge bonus, it tends to shut off survival instinct, forcing you to find the motivation and grit to keep growing despite the comfort. A nice problem to have.

[2] As most pointed out, grateful that sotware development become one of the most well-paid hobbies ever.

[3] Grateful to have found yoga 4/5 years ago, which helped not only with physical wealth but also mental wealth. It helps you find gratefulness everywhere, and helps you deal with most issues by generally associating them to your ego and thus making it easier to let them go.

My family seriously struggled with cash when I was younger. Naturally, I never had any of the expensive toys that were all the rage with my peers. What I did have was books. My dad would go to a second-hand book store every day and pick out books that he thought I'd like. My dad couldn't read English very well, so I ended up getting a bunch of books that were definitely not intended for my age bracket - encyclopaedias, novels, textbooks (including a massive textbook on American law that I still have, despite the fact that I live in the UK) and so on. Everything good about me as a person is a direct result of what my dad did for me back then.

I'm thankful for Hacker News and its community.

I am successful largely in part because of the community and its discourse. I was introduced to the growth mentality when browsing this site back in 2010, and astonished by how open and humble people approached their failures.

This resonated with a lot of my personal struggles. However taking on a growth mindset put me on the right course and helped me take on increasingly larger scope and responsibilities at work, and also improved my relationships with family and friends.

Fortunately I'm now in a position where I can help shape culture, and pushing for learning and open mindedness has been an underlying principle for many of my actions.

I'm thankful for my daughter and mother. And humanity (the average tends to be skewed on the positive side .. disclaimer ... i have required help very occasionally but have been pleasantly surprised .... i try to pay it forward nowadays).

Thankful for still breathing. It didn't seem like a possibility just a few years ago.

I’m thankful that I have a fantastic little boy, who’s growing up healthy and happy.

Before I had one I just couldn’t imagine how much joy a child can bring to your life (and pain, and stress, and a lot of other bad things, but it’s all worth it).

I am thankful I made it through the war with my body and mind mostly intact, and that it spurred me to seek the truth no matter how ugly. I am thankful I have a family and friends who love me despite my antics. I am thankful that people like RMS and Torvalds and many others saw the incoming desire of corporations to own our computing lives and they fought against it, and the many people who continue that fight to this day. I am thankful I live in a first world country with running water, a roof over my head, and food to eat. I'm thankful to live in America where I have rights that many other countries don't.

I am incredibly thankful for my wife, my job, my family, my privileged upbringing, my pets, the tech industry in general (even though I am contemptuous towards it at times) and most immediately a warm safe place to sleep.

I'm thankful for all the mentors I've had over the years. Not just teaching and taking the time to explain until I understand, but also providing good examples how to handle bad situations and treat people.

I’m thankful for this life experience and everything in it. Out of all the lifeforms on earth, I won the lottery by being born a human during a time of relative peace and in a place with high GDP per capita.

I'm thankful for each day that I get to work on the things that I enjoy and get to learn new things that I find interesting.

I'm also thankful for HN. I've been coming here for about a decade. It's one of the few sites or communities I've visited for such a long period of time consistently going back to the early to mid 1990s. The relatively consistent, persistent moderation is a big part of why it still works so well after all this time, so a thanks to the mods as well.

Good fortune to everyone here in the year ahead.

I'm also thankful that I get paid a lot to do what I love. I think I'm good at what I do, but I'm no better or more passionate than a lot of my friends in other industries (particularly the arts) whose livelihood is based far more on luck and the whims of others than mine is.

I'm also thankful to be able to work with passionate, enthusiastic graduates as part of my day job. Seeing them learn, grow and progress into great developers is incredibly rewarding - much more so than the rest of my work.

The people that fought and manned the factories in World War II.

I'm currently at home visiting family. I'm grateful for how much love we have at home for each other and for how supportive my parents have been my entire life.

I am thankful to people who share their insightful viewpoints which in many cases have been significantly different than mine and led to me changing my opinion on issues.

I'm thankful for my dad who survived a massive hemorrhagic stroke to be here today and celebrate Thanksgiving with us. He is recovering slowly but surely :)

For everything ~ The events had that happened to me, the people that I had in life, is like a bunch of neural network that made me what I am now. It doesn’t have to be always positive, a negative weight is also the reason my life points to what it is now.

Not to say my life is perfect, but with the flaws I had, people still cared about me.

Thank you my family, friends, enemies - everyone. One can’t be grateful to God until one be thankful for the kindness of others.

That my company was acquired, but with a twist:

I wasn't an early enough employee to have any significant equity or options, although I did receive a four-figure payout, so not nothing. The new parent company eventually eroded everything we loved about the work and culture, which gave me the push I needed to find a higher paying job with a much better environment and overall working conditions.

Thank you for this post! Reading through people's comments, the common denominator seems to be health.

I've been "burning the candle at both ends" recently. Very conscious that a healthy body and healthy mind require balance between work and family and play.

So I'm thankful for my health as well and I'm looking forward to more balance in my life going forward.

I'm thankful to my God who has bestowed love in the heart of my parents, siblings, relatives and friends because of which I'm what I'm today. Their compassion, support, up bringing and timely suggestions/warnings etc.

I'm thankful to them all!

"If one is not thankful to people around him, he can't be thankful to his God"

So thank you everyone.

I am thankful I am not as fearful any longer of what people think about me, nor as anxious about the future, even though a lot of my circumstances are such that I would have worried myself silly a couple of years ago. I am thankful for the people who want to be part of my life.

There was a lot of pain before I reached this point. Maybe it's the only way.

The stability my job provides me. Pays about twice what I need & that gap provides a lot of options & peace of mind.

I am thankful for my family having gotten the opportunity to move to the US from a post-Soviet country when I was young.

A happy, healthy daughter. A son on the way.

Contrary to most here, I'm thankful for being raised in a country/culture that happiness comes before economic accomplishments. And also for having found my way on Software development and land remote jobs working for richer countries. That provides me with the best of both worlds (1 & 3).

I'm thankful for getting the opportunity to do all of this tech stuff. When you're caught up in it, you can forget that a lot of people don't get to do stuff like this—really grateful for every day and every opportunity and that it's lasted as long as it has. It's a real blessing.

I'm thankful for being entirely healthy in U.S. And I'm thankful for having the income/savings/lack of baggage to have a lot of options in life -- regardless of whether or when I take them. I'm thankful that life hasn't been "eventful" unless I want it to be.

Health, safety, loving family & community.

An 11 and 14 year old were both recently murdered (probably gang related) at the school our church partners with. We've helped beautify the school, donated bikes, glasses, school materials, other basic needs to the underprivileged.

Was quite painful for the community and myself.

I'm thankful for being able to reconcile with the Drupal community. Many days are still sad but they are not empty any more even if I am not Drupal'ing day and night as before. Diminished as is, it's still a lot, lot better being able to participate than not.

Apart from all before mentioned stuff, I am hugely thankful for FOSS. It's kinda hard to imagine the current software landscape without the existence of FOSS and open source contributors.

FOSS is awesome :)

Being able to wind my clock each day.

I am thankful for Free Software, and for all that it has made possible for me and so many others.

After struggling with a disabling fatiguing illness for 10 years and thinking it was incurable, I was just diagnosed with a rare sleep disorder and am awaiting corrective surgery. I'm excited to see what I can accomplish with a normal energy profile.

So grateful for working remotely from anywhere, in average 5 hours a day, and making 6 figures

I'm honestly trying to think of cool stuff that happened to me this year, and while there is some, the crappy stuff outweighs all that.

I'm probably thankful for some self-discovery I did this year. Turns out I'm not really socially awkward after all.

I'm thankful for being born to free universal health care and education, fantastic nature, and people who try to preserve these. And for people everywhere who do what they can to bring these to as many of us as possible.

I have been lucky compared to many most of my life, and I am always thankful for that.

But my 3yo son was diagnosed epilepsy some months ago.

It now seems medicines are effective at keeping him ok and there is a chance he may outgrow it.

I am deeply thankful for that.

Thankful for living in a peaceful country. Thankful for a loving wife and a daughter and aged yet active parents. Thankful for a life where I dont have to struggle for my basic physiological needs and safety needs

Im thankful for Clojure, without which I would be 75% less effective. Im thankful for all of you guys, who open source cool libs every month, letting me learn and latch on much faster than I could do otherwise.

I am thankful there is so much great work out there to be inspired by.

I am thankful for the Free software movement, they continue to do the right thing - since years.

So that we don't have be thankful to people or companies, because software is our right!

I’m thankful to come to work every day and appreciate my coworkers and those around me. I feel like without those smart and good folks life would be a lot more difficult.

I’m thankful for all the fateful situations that have led to my humility and happiness.

Without them, I might have thought I was someone else. I might have never truly defined myself.

My wife, 3 kids, and a loving community of friends. Sometimes hard to remember how important these people are during the ups and downs of regular life.

I'm thankful for today. For laughter and company.

I'm thankful for my health, my parent's health, and my education/work. Hopefully 2020 will be even better than 2019!

I'm thankful for really basic things: nature, providing all kind of fruits (there are a few figs, soft persimmons in the wild or gardens here, taste is truly amazing), herbs, berries, legumes, honey, fish, .. as well as oxygen, or just for the shade of a tree while riding in summer

and not thankful for what threatens this beauty and happiness, obviously pollution, people excessive footprint, consumerism lifestyles. It makes things incredibly harder for nature to catch up

4 days ago passed 10 years without alcohol for me. I'm thankful for all the opportunities I had thanks to that period.

For being healthy. If you're healthy you can do anything. You start to appreciate that when you get sick.

Putting on a clean pair of socks and shoes that fit.

It might not seem like much but it's something I appreciate every day.

For being alive. I thank God for the gift of life because it is not something to be taken for granted.

That they created an entire industry out of what I did for fun as a kid, and now I get paid to do it.

Healthy recovery of my close relative

I'm thankful for Hacker News!

That I have eyes and my hands and my sanity and my family. Honestly that's enough.

I am thankful for being healthy and for others around me being healthy too so far.

I'm ashamed for depleting this planet of it's natural resources to make myself feel better. The worst part is that I'm not stopping, I keep buying new things that are marginally better than what I'm replacing. It's hard to abstain. I'm a really shitty person.

i don't think you should beat yourself up like this. The fact you are aware means you will consciously or subconsciously make better choices

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