6 reasons why I am grateful to a hacker

Photo by Randy Pertiet

My family email address was hacked; it was not a positive way to start my morning.

However, I have learned that challenging situations are best endured through the practice of gratitude, so I consciously chose to turn my irritation inside-out and to transform it to gratitude.

Dear hacker:

Thank you. Thanks to your time and talent, I have discovered six things for which I am profoundly grateful:

1. Delayed onset of Alzheimer’s Disease

In the past year I have had my Facebook account, my work email account and my family email account hacked. Thanks to you I have had to change several passwords and create ever more complicated ones. The stimulation to my brain cells that result from creating and remembering complex passwords will no doubt delay the onset of any senile dementia. I and my family thank you.

2. Increased calorie burning

I went for my daily walk with my dog after discovering the email violation. Fueled by anger and irritation, I walked at a much accelerated pace thereby burning more calories. My waist measurement thanks you.

3. Contact with old friends

Since you sent your message offering everyone in my contact list a chance to earn quick money, you have put me in touch with people who I have not contacted for a long time. Every parent who ever had a child on the same hockey, baseball, soccer or rugby team as my children would have been surprised to hear from me, no doubt. All the parents of my former Girl Guides, and all my children’s’ teachers would have been equally surprised to see my name in their Inbox, I am sure. Of course, they would not have been happy to receive the message under the circumstances, but I choose to remember the old public relations adage: There is no such thing as bad publicity—just spell my name right. Thanks for all the publicity.

4. Appreciation for the weather

It is cool and rainy in Ottawa, Canada today; the kind of weather that makes you want to go back to bed. Blah. Before I turned on my computer to discover you, dear hacker, I was a little grumbly about the weather. But then, when I saw all the undelivered mail messages in my Inbox, suddenly the weather wasn’t the worst part of my day. I started to look at it positively. After all, the trees and flowers needed a good drink. Our thirsty gardens thank you.

5. Pride in life choices

When I considered the time, talent and skill that you spent doing something that ruined my day, I felt rather proud of myself by comparison. When I have an hour or two to spare, I spend it trying to make the world a better place. I volunteer with several community organizations, I help out at my kids’ school, or I donate blood. I feel proud that I use my time, talent and skills to make someone’s day a little brighter. My community thanks you.

6. Compassion

I worked hard at putting myself in your shoes. I tried to understand you. I concluded that at some point in your history you were deprived of love in some way, or harmed physically or emotionally. Why else would you want to inflict harm on others? I was able to find compassion for you and to wish for a positive change in your life.

Dear hacker:

You have such skill and talent, and you obviously have WAY too much time on your hands. I ask that you look around. There are people who need your help.

Please use your time and talent to help, not harm.

6 thoughts on “6 reasons why I am grateful to a hacker

  1. Lindsay

    You really know how to make one think!
    Thank you for this, you always make a negative such a positive. Such an amazing person Arlene!
    Thank you


  2. Sharyn

    That was an amazing response. I’d like to think that somewhere out there in the ether there’s a small person giving serious consideration to his/her life choices and making a decision to step forward on a different path that involves growth and generosity of spirit. That’s the part of me that tries to see good in the world around me, as you have done with this blog entry.


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