Archived: A Time for Hope and Thanks


For many Americans, this Thanksgiving feels different from years past. Much has changed in the last year. In financial terms, most of us have less than we did last Thanksgiving, perhaps much less. And more of us are unemployed and looking for work.

The anxiety of today’s economy is even more reason to call time out from our hectic and stress filled lives and give thanks for all the blessings that we still have and the many relationships that give meaning to our lives and sustain us in challenging times.

When the Pilgrims celebrated the first English Thanksgiving in America in 1621, they did so with their new friends from the Wampanoag Indian tribe. The Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 and half of their entourage died during the harsh winter of 1620-21. Had it not been for the aid of the Wampanoag tribe, there would have been no Thanksgiving in 1621.

All of us have people in our lives to whom we are grateful and for whom we will give thanks this Thursday: Parents who gave us roots and wings; friends who supported our ambitions and gave us time out of their busy lives; mentors who coached us and helped us take the right steps in our careers; spouses and partners who walk arm in arm in the day to day agony and ecstasy of our lives; and strangers who came to our aid when we needed help and no one else was around.

Thank you to our brave firefighters and volunteers who have helped so many families ravaged by the recent wildfires throughout Southern California. While these tragedies have become all too common, the bravery of our first responders saved hundreds of homes and businesses during the past year.

Thank you to the men and women of our armed forces.  Wherever they serve in this world, we extend our deep gratitude and honor their service every day. They won’t be having Thanksgiving dinner with their families, but we should all include them as we give thanks this week.

Thank you to our employers for the jobs you provide and the relentless efforts you are making to sustain those jobs. Thank you to our community organizations and volunteers for the help you are offering to those who are unemployed and in need.

And thank you to the millions of Americans who participated in one of the most historic presidential elections in our nation’s history. Regardless of who you voted for, this election reinforced the opportunities in America and the strength of our democracy.

Like the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians in 1621, let?s be thankful for our blessings this week and make a commitment to help each other through these difficult times so that we can celebrate together when economic prosperity returns.

And that’s The Business Perspective.

The Business Perspective is a weekly opinion piece by Gary Toebben, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, produced with the input of Samuel Garrison, Vice President of Public Policy.

Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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