List of Things to Be Grateful For

Madhav Malhotra
4 min readMar 28, 2022



  • My eyesight works or I have access to technology that help my vision. Before the 1300s, no one had glasses. Yet alone technology to fix blindness!
  • My hearing works or I have access to technology that helps my hearing. Isn’t it amazing??? Look at how much joy people experience hearing for the first time!
  • I’m not confined to one place. I can walk around, pick things up, travel places, and more! When I’m older, I’ll likely have trouble with this.
  • I don’t have a life-threatening illness! This spares me and my family a lot of grief. Millions around the world fight cancer, neuro-degenerative diseases, resistant micro-organisms, and more every year.
  • I don’t have a mental disability. In many parts of the world, this can be a life sentence. And at the very least, severely limit my potential in life.
  • We understand more than ever about how complicated the body is. It’s easier than ever to find awe in that it all somehow works!
  • Every single year I live is the best year to get healthcare treatment in all of human history. The list of diseases that are no longer likely to kill me is never-ending: polio, tetanus, the flu, hepatitis, rubella, measles, rotavirus, mumps, chickenpox, diphtheria, tuberculosis, malaria, HIV, …


  • I have a functioning family to support me. And a functioning welfare system in my country. In some countries, thousands of orphans alternate between roaming the street and being locked up like animals. And even in developed countries, those without two parents are several times less likely to get a university degree.
  • I have no severe financial restrictions. I could’ve grown up moving between homeless shelters, having families split apart, doing odd jobs to make ends meet, and/or dropping out of school to support my family.
  • I grew up in modern times, where the lowest % of humans EVER in history lack basic rights. Less than a century ago, it would have been unheard of for a dark-skinned person, a woman, a non-heterosexual, a disabled person, or any other minority to be successful.
  • I grew up speaking English! This gives me access to 60% of the top 10M websites on the Internet — the largest source of knowledge we’ve ever had. Every year that comes is the best year ever to be educated in all of human history!
  • And in general, I had default access to education. In a world where some people still have to fight to go to school secretly and others rely on every month’s crop going well to pay tuition fees. I was guided by my family, peers, government, and more to take education seriously.


  • I’ve never had to grow/hunt my own food in my entire LIFE! The Emperor of the largest Empire in human history once had to forage for fruits and animal carcasses! I can walk into any store and eat more types of food than the most powerful Emperors could’ve even IMAGINED!
  • It takes me <1 minute to get water. In a world where some have to wait in lines for days or walk several hours in blazing heat to access water.
  • I’ll likely live more than 70 years. For most of human history, the average person born would die by age 32!
  • I have access to heating, cooling, and modern clothes to maintain the body temperature I need. Until 1901, tens of billions of humans lived without AC their entire lives :O
  • I have access to the most safe shelter ever built in history. The materials I take for granted, like iron and steel, took centuries of innovation to perfect. And there are tens of thousands of standards involved to make sure the shelter I live in is safe.
  • If I earn more than $30,000 USD per year, I’m in the top 5% of income earners around the world. I don’t have to decide between educating my children or paying rent, getting my medication or having 3 meals a day, marrying off my daughter or sending her into prostitution.


  • The only way I can be socially excluded is by my choice. I don’t have a tribe of 150 people to please if I don’t want to die. If one person doesn’t like me, I can form relationships with billions of others! And online conferencing / social networks make it easier than ever to find/meet people.
  • I can listen to tens of millions of songs for free. Or visit any of over 55,000 museums. Or travel basically anywhere on Earth in under a week. Or download any of over 2.5 million apps on my phone. Ie. I have more enjoyable experiences to discover every year than ever before.
  • There is more knowledge on mental health disorders than ever in history. Online therapy wasn’t available thirty years ago. I can more easily get more relevant and less stigmatised information to improve my happiness than ever before. Compared to having people drain my blood.
  • For free, at any time, I can get advice from the world’s most knowledgeable people on how to improve my life! Thanks to online videos.