1. The fact that it is possible to reach out to almost anyone in the world, no matter how far away they live or how long it’s been since you’ve last spoken, in just a few seconds.
2. Opening the mail to see the acceptance letter that you have been waiting for and agonizing over for the past several months.
3. Seeing a baby crying in a grocery line who stops and suddenly starts smiling the second you smile back at him.
4. The moment when the plane takes off for a really exciting trip and your whole stomach feels like it’s dropping and rising at the same time.
5. The fact that we live in the same world as people like Carlos Arredondo.
6. The first day of the real spring, where there are only little wisps of clouds and it’s warm enough to take your jacket off when you’re eating outside.
7. The internet continues to fight for justice even when it hasn’t been served in a courtroom.
8. Every day, things like travel and accommodations and communication are becoming less expensive and more democratic.
9. You can start a blog one night on a whim and meet a thousand people all over the world who like the same things as you, and who you can identify with in a way you might never have with your real-life friends.
10. Waking up to text messages from someone you can’t stop thinking about and realizing that they can’t stop thinking about you, either.
11. Fake charities are getting easier than ever to identify and stop.
12. More and more states and countries around the world are legalizing marriage equality, and understanding how important it is.
13. Seeing whole communities of people on and offline organizing to improve the quality of access, information, and production of healthy foods.
14. Having near-limitless access to good recipes sorted by everything from cost to calorie count to dietary requirements.
15. The fact that once-fatal illnesses are becoming more and more treatable every day.
16. All of the new products and ideas for getting young girls interested in the STEM fields and out of restrictive gender norms, such as Roominate.
17. Calling someone that you’re worried about and hearing their voice the moment they pick up the phone.
18. Shows like Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and the fact that every day we are becoming less and less obsessed with what it means to be “a lady” or “a real man,” and more interested in what it means to be a good human.
19. Watching things which were once very hard, such as working out or finding a more healthy commute, become habits.
20. Reuniting with people you thought you had lost forever via Facebook, even if you are quick to talk about how much you dislike it.
21. Rescuing animals from shelters and seeing how forgiving and loving even the most forgotten creatures can be.
22. The moment when you wake up after a full night of sleep and you don’t feel tired for the first time in a really long time.
23. Hearing the news that one of your good friends is getting married to someone that they really love.
24. Seeing couples who have been together for decades and they still seem like two giddy teenagers on a date when they go out for dinner.
25. The sound of crickets during sunset in the hottest days of summer.
26. The moment when you go home for the first time after being away from your family home for a really, really long time.
27. Hearing the sound of your mom’s voice when she comes to pick you up, and feeling the Mom Hug that only she knows how to give.
28. The fact that, after a tragedy, hospitals are overwhelmed with so many blood donations that they simply can’t use them all.
29. Realizing that all of the people you know are only that person for the instant that you knew them, and that we are all developing in ways that none of us can really anticipate.
30. Little girls getting to meet Disney Princesses.
31. Watching one of your favorite movies from childhood that you haven’t seen in years and remembering exactly why you loved it so much and why it felt so magical.
32. There is almost guaranteed to be someone out there at any minute who wants to thank you for something, or is better because you were in their life.
33. Working up the courage to say you are sorry to someone to whom you owe an apology.
34. Seeing fathers walk around with their toddler on their shoulders, and remembering how it made you feel like you were a conqueror on top of a mountain.
35. Riding a roller coaster and holding someone’s hand just before the drop.
36. Even people and groups we thought might never learn are starting to become more compassionate and human.
37. Watching people in retirement graduating from college after going back to get another degree just because they wanted to learn.
38. New music coming out from so many artists who’d been on hiatus for too long.
39. Calling someone for no reason and telling them that you love them. Even if you’ve never said it before. Even if you’ve said it a thousand times.
40. Realizing that nothing is over, and that there is always a way to make someone else’s life better, even if it means giving up a seat on the bus or holding the door open or being really nice to a cashier who’s had a hard day. Realizing that everything counts.