We've all had a rough time lately with the recent FTX crisis, and many of us have probably been feeling anxious, depressed, angry, betrayed, confused, etc., and worried about our funding, our careers, our future, and the future of EA.

The American Thanksgiving holiday is coming up in a couple of days, which is traditionally a time for reconnecting with family and friends, and focusing on the many things to be thankful for in life. Also, there's considerable research from positive psychology that 'gratitude exercises' can promote happiness and health.

So, I thought it might be helpful for EAs to do a little gratitude exercise here on EA Forum, focused on ways that -- despite the recent crisis -- you're still thankful for EA ideas, insights, ideals, organizations, colleagues, and friendships. 

In the comments below, please share one or two brief ways that you're grateful for being involved in the EA movement. I hope we can take a step back from the recent news, reconnect with why we care about EA, and find some positivity this week.

Sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 3:51 AM

I am extremely grateful for all of the immense privileges I have – many of which are purely due to the luck of birth and circumstance. Above and beyond the privileges of my relative wealth, health and happiness (high  happiness set point) I also have the privilege to be able to work on helping us all share that luck and I get to do it alongside some of the kindest and most capable people I've ever met. Working alongside these people during a time of crisis makes me even more grateful.

Plus, the best part of my day is reading the motivations of new GWWC members who have made a significant commitment to use their resources to help others effectively. E.g.

I'm extremely grateful to have found a community of people who care deeply about doing good. I have felt very welcomed and accepted by the people I've met. Seeing the excitement and warmth that comes from people discussing and acting on how we can help others is a wonderful thing.

For me, one of the main takeaways of the FTX debacle was a reminder of the fact we have something to lose. That a load of money isn't just a number or a means to personal enrichment, but rather its value is weighed in the absolutely mind-boggling number of people and animals that our efforts today could impact.

So, in a strage way, I'm really glad that I'm surrounded by people who care enough for this to have hurt, and for it to have hurt for the right reasons.

It's a reminder that this community is largely comprised by people who are remarkably driven to make the world better a better place, even long after they're no longer in it. It helps me recalibrate to see this as a bump in the road and focus on the next steps, knowing there's a lot of talent and a lot of motivation and a lot of care around me.

So, thanks to you all! I appreciate you.

We are EAs because we share the experience of being bothered - by suffering, by pandemic risk, by our communities' failure to prioritize what matters. Before EA, many of us were alone in these frustrations and lacked the support and resources to pursue our dreams of helping. I remember what it was like before EA and I'm never going back. Thank you, each of you, for bringing something beautiful into the world.

I am grateful for reminders like Geoffrey's, and the knowledge that this community is big enough to overcome these recent challenges, and smart enough to continue to pursue solutions to global issues.

I am a big fan of gratitude practice. I try to write a little in a gratitude journal most nights, which has helped my overall state of mind since I started doing it. I would recommend anybody to try it, including people involved in EA. And I'm glad you suggested it, as a little gratitude during a crisis like this can be especially helpful.

I have some reservations about posting things I'm grateful for publicly on this forum though. Gratitude can be a bit vulnerable, and this forum has more eyes on it than usual lately. Posting to a community about why you're thankful for that community could also be misinterpreted as being obsequious or virtue signalling. I think most of the benefits of gratitude practice can be enjoyed privately or with someone you trust, but if other people felt inclined to share their gratitude here, I would probably enjoy reading it and not be judgmental. And I may change my mind later and post some of that here as well :)

I would probably more excited about this thread if the forum had a feature to post comments anonymously. I don't see any downside to an anonymous public gratitude thread, but I'm probably too lazy to create an anonymous account just for that purpose.


One commenter indicated interest in a way to add comments anonymously to this post.

You can do so here.


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I'm grateful that you made this form to submit responses anonymously - thanks for doing that! :)

You're most welcome :)


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I love the community of people who are interested in suffering-focused ethics. I don't know many of them yet, but the ones I do know are such lovely people.


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I've never found another group that has so many people who have overcome indifference https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/9gJAmSx73xYWi9QgS/framing-effective-altruism-as-overcoming-indifference and are trying to do something to help.

I'm grateful for the EA  movement for finding a bigger meaning in life for myself!

Super appreciative for all the work EA does!


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I'm grateful for how forthcoming people in EA tend to be when it comes to giving frank feedback on ideas and write-ups.


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I'm grateful for how I feel free to disagree with my EA friends on things - I feel that my years of interaction with people in EA have caused me to be far more open about my opinions and about expressing disagreement than I used to be. (This is a great thing for me, because I used to be quite lacking in assertiveness in many areas of life.) I love how many people in EA tend to reframe disagreement as a constructive form of information-sharing, rather than as a confrontation - that reframing has been extremely helpful for me.


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I *love* the concept of reasoning transparency and I *love* how EA organisations emphasise how important it is.


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I'm grateful that the community health team exists, and I'm grateful for all the work they do!


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I'm grateful to know that there are so many people who are striving to make the world a better place.


This comment was submitted anonymously:

I'm extremely grateful for all the friends I've met through EA. Many of my closest friends are people I originally met through EA (although some of them aren't involved in the community anymore). I appreciate them all more than words can describe!