What are you thankful for?

By Will Chen on 3 December 2007 (Updated 12 December 2007) 37 comments

Wise Bread is one year old today and we have a lot to be thankful for:

What are you thankful for during this holiday season? Share your thoughts of gratitude with us for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!

**This drawing has ended. Congrats to DebtyBetty, our winner. Thanks to everyone who participated!

In case you need some inspiration

There's a lot to be thankful for regardless of your income level. At least that's the message from the Global Rich List, which shows you how your income level stacks up against the rest of the world:

  • Column 1 Your Annual Income: Look up your annual income.
  • Column 2 World Wealth Percentage: Ranks your wealth in terms of percentages against the rest of the world's population. For example, if your annual income is $30,000, your World Wealth Percentage is 7.16%, which means you are one of the top 7.16% richest people in the world.
  • Column 3 World Wealth Ranking: Gives you an absolute number of how many people in the world have more money than you. For example, if your annual income is $30,000, there are only 429,712,644 people with more money than you in this world.

wealth chart

The poverty threshold for a single person living in the US is $10,488. According to the chart, such a person is still in the top 13% of the wealthiest people in the world.

Of course, this chart is just for fun. While the Global Rich List uses information from the World Bank, it doesn't take into consideration that cost of living differs greatly between various regions of the world.

On the other hand, Americans also enjoy many things that we take for granted, like safe drinking water, reliable infrastructure, a working economy, and a non-corrupt justice system. We are lucky in many ways:

  • Although North America has only 6% of the world adult population, it accounts for 34% of household wealth. United Nations.
  • Americans account for only 5 percent of the world's population, the U.S. consumes 26% of the world's energy and create 25% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions. Stanford Recycling Center.
  • Americans use about 100 gallons of water per person per day compared to a world average of 22 gallons.

I hope this information puts you in a more thankful mood!

Leave a comment about what you're thankful for and you will be automatically entered in our weekly drawing to win a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate. Deadline to enter is 12/9/07. Only one entry per person will be counted.

**This drawing has ended. Congrats to DebtyBetty, our winner. Thanks to everyone who participated!

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Guest's picture
ryan

i think about this at least once a week, it keeps me motivated.

1. i try to decrease my consumption of goods/energy/water in order to reduce my ecological footprint, hoping others do the same. i do not want to be responsible for what is to happen.

2. i realize that i could have been born in a slum, or a dirt hut somewhere, and never made a dollar. for this reason i strive to invest as much money as is possible in my retirement and real estate. i feel i have been given a gift, and to not maximize my situation is foolish and wasteful.

this is why there are articles about how immigrants come here and strive to succeed. people who are born here are used to the system, and never take advantage of all this country has to offer.

Guest's picture
Celia

I think I'm most thankful for my family and friends; they are generous both emotionally and financially, and the only thing I covet is their generosity.

Guest's picture
AmandaD

Very interesting information & a great way to put things into perspective. I am thankful that my husband and I are on the same page with our finances & are working towards common goals. I'm so glad we don't fight about money.

Based on your info, I'm just thankful to be born in this country. It almost guarantees you a very high quality standard of living compared to most of the rest of the world. ;)

Trophiogrande's picture

...I'm thankful for Google Reader. It has made my blog reading more efficient and diverse.

Guest's picture
Hishtafel

I am thankful for my safety net. Between my relatives, my friends, and my church, I never have to worry about what will happen to us if disaster strikes.

~Q

Guest's picture
Jonnydock

Each day before I leave I see by wife and boys sleeping and thank God for having them in my life.

Guest's picture
C. N.

I'm thankful every time I look around and see my husband and our two cats. Seeing my husband reminds me that I'm not alone. Seeing our cats remind me that I'm needed--if only for feeding, cleaning, and ear-scratching services--so I'd better get up and get going whether I feel like it or not.

Guest's picture
Angie

And for the internet.

Guest's picture

This list could be incredibly long, considering that I have an astonishing amount to be grateful for. I'm grateful:

1. That I live in the United States, and that because of this I don't go to bed hungry.

2. That I have a job that allows me to provide money for both my wife and daughter

3. My gorgeous wife and beautiful daughter.

4. The fact that I live in the same town as my parents, and get to see them every week.

5. For coffee, because it gives me a wonderful energy boost.

6. For walks in the snow with my wife

7. For email, which allows me to communicate with people easily and quickly.

8. For the Pittsburgh Steelers!

Guest's picture
Spanky

Being alive, having family and friends, and having a job that pays me much more than I am worth!
Also, having an internet connection at work to read blogs such as wisebread.

Guest's picture
Megan

I am thankful that I have a good job and a roof over my head and enough savings to keep that roof over my head for a few months should an emergency arise. I am thankful that I have family who would take me in in a minute if I needed them and who would fly across the country to be at my side in an emergency. I am thankful for my friends who made my move to a new city even better than I could have expected.

Guest's picture
Mel

... being able to breathe and live. Life!

Guest's picture
Lindsay

I am thankful for a wonderful husband who loves me sooooo much! I am also thankful for my baby girl and a godly church body who supports and encourages me. I am also thankful for a warm roof over my head, especially on days like today, where it has been pouring all day!

Guest's picture
Tezza

...for being granted another day of life and so I shouldn't waste it.

Guest's picture
Badgerette

I am so thankful for my husband and daughter. He is strong & smart & can fix nearly anything. He's kind to people and so tolerant of my eccentricities. My daughter's severely disabled, in a wheel chair, non-verbal & requires constant care, but she keeps me grounded & reminds me everyday of the virtue in simplicity, and what a blessing health is.

Guest's picture

1. My husband and child

2. Modern western plumbing and clean water supplies

3. Modern dentistry and medical care

4. My garden, which even when I neglect it severely, faithfully produces food. More than once, when I've run short on cooking supplies, I've been able to go scratch around and find things like carrots, potatoes and onions.

Guest's picture

I am thankful to have made it through my son's first year. There's just something particularly nerve-wracking about the first year and it's not like things get easier (he's not my first, so I'm speaking from experience here). But he's not nearly as fragile or helpless as he was when he was born, my oldest adores his little brother, and we've survived the transition to a two-kid family. And I'm always grateful to have even a minute of ME time!

Guest's picture
Naomi

I'm grateful to have an outstanding and creative husband and to be able to do what I love for a living. I'm also grateful that the hospital got my Dad's test results mixed with someone else and now I have more years to spend with him than I thought.

Guest's picture
Emily Manuola

This year especially I am grateful for my job and the insurance I have. My husband underwent emergency bypass surgery and we ended up with only about $1200 out of pocket. I am grateful for the technology in medicine that was able to save my husband. I am grateful for my health and the health of the rest of my family. Unfortunately, until we experience something like this, we take our own health for granted. I never will and begin each day thanking God for theblessings he has bestowed on me and mine.

I wish all goodness and kindness to all who read this and this year, I ask that you say a kind word to or do a kind deed to someone with out the need for recognition. We can begin to create the world we wish to live in.

Guest's picture
DivaJean

Mainly, I thank my lucky stars every day that I was born in this country, at this time and had the sheer luck to meet up with the people in my life.

It boggles my mind to think about how random it is that I ended up where I am. A lesbian mom of 4 with a good job, a supportive life partner who can stay at home, supportive family, living in New York State with a more liberal flavor, etc. Take out any one ingredient of my life and it could really suck. Had I been born a few years earlier, half the things in my life might not have been an option. Or- if my family were not as supportive, things could have been really ugly.

Thank heaven for all the miracles that brought me to where I am.

Guest's picture
Gbich

Nearly every morning that I jump into a nice, hot shower, I am reminded of how thankful I am for where and when I was born. I think of how easy it is to take for granted something like running water, let alone HOT running water.

Like DivaJean, it blows my mind how lucky I am to be living where I do, especially when I read of the atrocities other women in the world must endure.

Guest's picture
dayzella

Today I'm thankful for the little things - my dogs waking me in the morning, the way the sky looked when the sun was rising on our walk, that my husband is willing to cart me to work even though he'd really rather not, that I have mint tea and a turkey sandwich here while I type this note.

Guest's picture

I am so incredibly thankful for my little nephew. About a year and a half ago, my sister and her husband adopted a newborn boy through a domestic adoption agency. The birth mother had nearly a year to change her mind and it was so nerve wracking for my entire family, thinking that at any time she could take him away. However, this past May, after several court proceedings, the birth mother formally relinquished her rights and my nephew became a legal member of our family, in addition to the family member he had become in spirit the moment he arrived.

I am also incredibly thankful to his birth mother for making such a difficult decision to give her baby up for adoption. I hope she knows how much my family loves, adores, and cares for her natural son.

Guest's picture
sylrayj

I'm thankful that I have fibromyalgia and social anxiety, because I turned to the Internet and met my husband and almost all of my friends. I'm thankful that it means I don't work and my husband does, because I can use this Internet to find ways to make our lives better and because I have time to be with my two kids. I am thankful for them - one has Aspergers, dyslexia and ADHD, and he is so amazingly aware and focused, and yet so oblivious! One may very well have Aspergers too, she's too young to know, and she has such delight in the world around her it's at times uplifting just to watch.

I'm thankful for those who love me. When I'm feeling down, and wonder if there's any reason why I should bother being, I have to acknowledge that there are people who I respect a great deal who choose to spend time with me - and while we all make mistakes in judgement, could that many people be so wrong? There must be some value in being, because these others see it, and to honour them I seek it on those dark grey days.

Guest's picture
jen

...my husband, who is the most wonderful and supportive person in the world, & finds me sexy as ever -- even at 7 months pregnant :)

...my friend Johnna, who gave us a book that lead us to the Bradley Method & our fabulous midwife. I have no worries or anxiety about the birth of our first baby.

...finding Dave Ramsey on the internet in February and getting me rolling on paying off our debts and being responsible so that when we found out we were pregnant, it wasn't as financially hard as it would have been (I'm going to be a SAHM).

...my old boss, for arranging the terms of my departure with a better solution than I ever could have dreamed.

...God for putting all these people who have blessed me so much this year in my life.

Guest's picture
Wesa

I am more thankful and grateful this year than most years. My new husband gently pushed me to leave my place of employment and dedicate myself fully to school. I am thankful that we are at a time in our lives that we can afford to take the cut in our household budget while I work on my education. I am thankful that the choices we have made to live frugally are paying off. I am thankful for all the helpful online resources that relay tips and ideas on how to cut back just a bit more, from using online budget programs such as Mint.com to cooking from scratch, from brown bagging lunch to stepping out of the rat race. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life, and that happiness is not found at the mall, but in the pursuit of bettering my future.

Guest's picture
Todd

My sister had a stroke this past Monday. She's 38 years old. I am thankful she is alive and may recover. Forget everything else. Life is precious and we ALL take it for granted.

Guest's picture
Marie

I am thankful for my husband, my friends, and the warm fuzzy feelings they give me. I am also thankful for my job, which is pleasant and pays well. I am grateful that I am in good health and am able to exercise most days. In other words, I am thankful that I have reached a point in my life at which I feel secure, accepted, healthy, and loved.

Really, it's the immaterial things that count most.

Guest's picture
Guest

Have your parents ever said, "You'll thank me when you're older?"
Much to my irratation I heard that repeatedly when I was growing up. When I wasn't allowed to have activities to keep me occupied, 24/7; when I had to (what I thought to be child-labor, then)feed the animals, wash the dishes, weed the garden. I also thought that they must enjoy depriving me of free money when they said the all too popular..."Money doesn't grow on trees, so you will have to earn it".
Now that I am grown, and have my own family, I do thank my parents. With what I thought to be cruel and unloving, was in actuality the best thing a parent could do for a child. What they were doing when they were saying "You'll thank me when you're older" was instilling character-building qualities, like hard work ethics; appreciation for family, and for the hard-earned dollar; satisfaction in a job done correctly; and respect for others.
As I learned these lessons growing up, I was thankful more and more for my parents and their controlled hands that did not give into my every plea, but made me work for what I wanted.
I am so thankful for my parents who loved me so much to show me how to take care of myself and to be content with what I had. "You'll thank me when you're older" was much more loving than "What else can I give you, honey?".
May I look to the future and have the strength to tell my children "You'll thank me when you're older" as my parents said to me.

Guest's picture
Barbara

• my business becoming profitable
• the love and support of my family, close friends, and my boyfriend, of whom I wouldn't have had the courage to stick with my business when it wasn't doing all that well
• my dog who wakes me up at 6 am every day and getting to enjoy "me" time in the morning quiet
• my co-workers at my second job who just make working there awesome
• having energy and health
• hot showers and a warm apartment

Most of all, I'm thankful for being able to realize that things could be a whole lot worse, and because of that, not taking these things for granted.

Guest's picture
Teresa

I am thankful that I can read and write, when so many world-wide cannot and for the kind people in my life.

Guest's picture
EB

At times like now, when I'm barely making ends meet and wasting my time in an underpaid job, I have to remind myself to be thankful that although I don't yet have a 'degree', I can read, write, do basic math, speak a few other languages and have other 'marketable skills', so all is not totally lost. So even though my car is about to die and I just spent the last bit of money I had for December on food for my son and myself (haven't started on the presents, yet!), I do have the faculties necessary to earn money.

Guest's picture
Patricia

I am thankful that I found the Wise Bread web-site. It has been the best site I have discovered in the last year

Guest's picture
Kristen

that I work with such caring and giving people. My company sponsered close to 4,000 children of low income families, and provided each with a gift and each family with a gift card. It really touches my heart

Guest's picture
Mike Sauter

friends, my laptop, and finally being out of college

Guest's picture
Gradgirl

I have a lot to be thankful for: a dream job I love, made possible by grad school, which my parents fully paid for, while letting me live with them rent-free.

Guest's picture
Kalyn

I am thankful for so much...including:
1) My fantastic, patient and loving boyfriend
2) My two ridiculous dogs
3) A great extended network of family and friends who are supportive and encouraging at all times
4) A great country and city in which I am fortunate to live
5) Organic vanilla soy milk