30 days of thankfulness

Reposing here from a series of facebook posts made during the month of November.

🦃 Every year in anticipation of Thanksgiving, my former (and favorite!) English teacher Steve Kraus posts a message of thanks each day of November. Following in his footsteps (and 4 days to catch up), I’ll be making a post each day for 30 days.

#1 I’m thankful for my health 💯

. It’s something that most people my age around me have in common, but a diagnostic for any number of conditions can hit you hard, and I have friends who have found out such things. There are many people in the world who don’t live to half my age. So I’m thankful to be able to walk, run, swim, jump, bike, hike my way through this life without major health issues limiting me in some way..with many more things in the world to explore and do!

#2 I’m thankful for Museums! 🖼

Today I was lucky enough to spend the day wandering a couple museums in Paris, hosting some of the most influential, impressive, and ancient pieces of art that exist, telling various interconnected stories. I’m thankful to the people who created the art to express history, emotion, and ideas. To the people who thought these things should be well preserved and took care of them. And to the people who decided that art should be available to the public (with the Louvre being the largest art museum in the world). So I’m thankful that these awesome museums exist, and that I’ve had the opportunity to visit some of the best!

#3 The beautiful stars of the night sky 🌌

Not only are they gorgeous to look at, but their movements have revealed how small we really are, their vastness has inspired grand space expeditions, their map has navigated humans across the globe, and with every shooting star, countless hopes and dreams have been shouted and whispered and thought at them. As countless as the stars themselves. I’m thankful to the night sky for reflecting the best inside us.

Check out where to find dark viewing spots with the link below, personally the best I saw was at Joshua Tree!


#4 Music! 🎵

Oof missed a day..Music! It has the power to take you away into another world. The way it connects people across cultures. The way it makes us dance and sing and feel happiness, or sadness, or empowered, or sometimes even just something. I’m thankful that so much music and so many amazing artists exist in the world :)

#5 I’m thankful that I can see 👁

I cannot imagine a life in darkness. There are so many beautiful things to experience. Beauty in nature, in human made things, and in humans themselves. Even the shit of the world may be unpleasant to look at but I’m grateful I can see it. Someday I hope we can fix blindness with technology. But until then most of us are the lucky ones, with vision, and living in a world with glasses to fix our poor vision.

#6 Cultures 🥖💂🏻‍♂️🎎

how cool is it that we have so many different cultures in the world. I think difference in culture and language has led to much useless fighting (from the myth of the Tower of Babel to the actual current conflicts), but the variety of foods, languages, ways of life, activities, philosophies, etc etc are an amazing part of the human experience. Travel makes it clear. There is no perfect culture or place, but it’s the variety itself which makes the world beautiful. There are absolutely fucked up situations in the world and certain mentalities which are a sickness to the world. But so much overwhelmingly more which are friendly, loving of life, and accepting. Traveling shows us that people are people everywhere, we have so much difference in culture but deep down we want the same things and we pursue them in different ways. And that makes the people of the world beautiful. I am thankful for the diversity we have in all these ways. It makes us interesting.

#7 Chocolate 🍫

Nutella. Waffles. Pancakes. French toast. Crepes. Ice cream 🍦. Brownies. Pastries. Cakes 🍰. I’m thankful for all the sweet things in life 😋

#8 🏃🏾‍♂️

today I ran a sub 8 min mile for the first time in my life. ok I know it’s not very impressive...I’m not going to the Olympics anytime soon. But I always had a notion of there are the “athletic” people and the “non-athletic” ones, and this particular mile time was something I thought I couldn’t do. Today I’m thankful for not just my body, which I can improve and make more capable, but my friends who are always pursuing some sport or another, pushing themselves, and inspiring me to do the same. And thankful there are so many fun sports to do in the world! 🏃🤘

#9 Warmth ☕️

it’s cold outside. I’m thankful to have a home to stay in, warm clothes, blankets, and hot tea.

#10 the endless books to read! 📚

The amazing libraries we have access to. For my kindle so I can start reading a book in minutes. To Gutenberg for inventing the printing press, to the people who invented ink, and the authors who wrote down their thoughts, stories, and ideas, and created entire worlds of characters. To the librarians and book store owners who guide readers to interesting new reads 📖

#11 family 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

I’m thankful for my parents, my grandparents, my sister, who each contributed to my upbringing, gave me education, opportunities, life, loved me and enabled me to live today as I do. I’m thankful for my second family, my friends, who accepted me, challenged me, and through whom I’ve grown as a person and had so many fun adventures. Relationships are truly the most important thing we can experience in life.

#12 trains 🚂

I love trains and am thankful they exist! There’s something incredibly romantic about them. I’m thankful for their invention, to the scores of people who worked on railways (including my grandfather). I love the sounds they make, the shifting patterns of the tracks as you look out the window, how fast they get you from place to place, the feeling you get on them, the conductors, the people selling food. Im thankful for beautiful mountainous routes. For cozy shared rooms like in the hogwarts express in some of them. I’m getting to travel Europe easily because of them, I met one of my best friends on a train to Boston (hi Weston), and I have so many family memories taking trips around India in sleeper trains, stopping in stations along the way to get chai and snacks! (Pic is train bridge in Luxembourg city, which is beautiful!)

#13 tea and coffee ☕️ 🍵

These drinks bring me so much simple pleasures, I’m thankful that people figured out how to make them. Of course there is a messy history full of slavery and other bad things, I’m thankful for the companies producing these delicious drinks fairly and ethically today.

#14 👟👖👕

my shoes and clothes to keep me warm and protected from the weather and sharp things on the street. There are millions who can’t afford these basic necessities. I’m thankful I have these things.

#15 bikes 🚲

I loved biking as a kid in the streets of India with my sister, to get something from the market, or go to music lessons. I loved biking in the Boston to get everywhere, in SF to get to work and around the city, in whistler doing downhill mountain biking (thank you Ina for showing me!) It’s fun going fast! I’m so thankful for this invention 🙂

#16 peace and freedom ☮️

We have a lot of bad guys in the world today. But our home countries are so much more peaceful than they have been in much of history. I’m thankful to the scores of people who fought against oppression and paved the way for greater freedom.

#17 the police forces 👮🏾‍♀️👮🏻‍♂️, firefighters 👨🏽‍🚒,

and other people who protect us from danger and risk their lives everyday. You always see the bad apples in the media but I’ve met some amazingly friendly and helpful police officers. And I’m proud of my childhood friend Robert for becoming one! Thank you for your service.

#18 the Wright brothers 👨🏻👨🏻

for inventing airplanes ✈️. Thank you for inventing these awesome machines and bringing the world closer together. Thank you for breaking assumptions of what can and can’t be done.

#19 Sunsets 🌅

every sunset paints a different evening sky with a palette full of various colors that evoke their own emotions. It’s one of the simplest and most beautiful pleasures in life to experience, and I’m thankful that I can every day.

#20 My mother 👩🏻

Thank you for having a strong heart and raising us with good values. Thank you for loving us and cooking delicious meals everyday. And thank you for those cheek-reddening slaps when I was being a brat! 😛

#21 my father 👨🏾

Thank you for working so hard for over a decade to ensure our family can stay in the US. Thank you for taking us on camping trips and inspiring my love for the outdoors, photography, computers, and more. Thank you for being supportive of whatever paths I want to take in life, and for valuing education so highly.

#22 my sister 👩🏽

Thank you for always being there as my friend, from childhood. From card games to music to (now) your sarcastic humor. Thank you for being supportive, spending time together, going on adventures, and playing so many games.

#23 my grandmother 👵🏽.

Thank you for opening up the world to arts, music, stories, and crafts with your ever curious and creative mind. You were truly the most unique soul I’ve ever known, your love for life was infectious and inspiring. Thank you for opening up the hearts and souls in our family.

#24 The randomness of the world 🎲

that brings unexpected people, ideas, situations in your life. Could be good or bad. Could be in disguise. But never controllable or predictable. I’m thankful because life always presents the unexpected.

#25 Couchsurfing! 🛋🏄‍♂️

Thanks to this amazing network of travelers, I’ve met some of my best friends, hosted people from all over the world, and now been able to stay in world class cities in Europe with friends and friends of friends. Not to mention getting more of a local experience in these places. Oh, and for giving me a job & opportunity to work alongside awesome individuals on its improvement :)

#26 cameras 📷

Great for keeping memories of course, and awesome that we all have an Amazon camera in our pockets. But more so, photography, the art of capturing light and life. With its ability to inspire, show a story, move you. I love capturing photos and film, it feels meditative. Thankful for all the people who created and honed photography over the years, and for my dad for getting me into it!

#27 Dogs 🐕

(most) Dogs are so full of energy and love and covered in cuddly fur..what’s not to be thankful for?! Thankful that humans domesticated these fluffballs and to all those in shelters who take care of them.

#28 👨🏻‍🏫

Steve Kraus, who started these thankfulness posts, for getting me into literature, taking our class to theatrical performances in SF, Oregon, and some local ones where our middle school was. I’m thankful that you pushed our minds into new directions that even the school system wasn’t ready for.

#29 The USA 🇺🇸

Despite its many shortcomings, a terrible history, the current presidential system, it’s still a place built by immigrants, of many cultures living together, a place of ideas, aspirations, where people push the boundaries of what’s possible in many different ways. And it’s the place which welcomed our family 17 years ago and gave us the opportunities we have today in life.

#30 🌏

All the other countries and people of the world, some of which I’ve had the opportunity to taste their food, experience their way of life, and have enriched my life from knowing them. I’m thankful for all cultures, bringing forth new ways of thinking and creations that we can enjoy and make a part of our lives.

Thanks for reading these posts, though I didn’t post one every day, it was an interesting experiment! I hope you’ve enjoyed them in some way.

Shridhar Gupta

I make web apps.

Brooklyn, New York