Commentary: thanksgiving

By Edward P. Noga
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Let me begin by letting you know that the title for my commentary in this edition was purposely kept in small letters.

This time of year, we gratefully celebrate the fourth Thursday of November as THANKSGIVING and we do it in a BIG way. From community parades and religious services to tremendous outreach programs (much needed), our nation does it up BIG.

Then there are the MILLIONS of folks traveling to be home for the holidays. Did you ever notice that in many households, extra tables are needed for food and people?

And speaking of doing things in a BIG way, how many take-home carry-out containers do you think are used for this autumn holiday, not to mention aluminum foil? I’ve even heard of turkey stuffing sandwiches lasting well into the next week.

OK, I think I made my point about how we celebrate THANKSGIVING in a BIG WAY! Now, back to the lower-case title of this column.

Yes, we do live in a phenomenal nation. By and large, we eventually solve our problems and give the world a good example of what it means to be a democracy.

As we all prepare to acknowledge this coming Nov. 24, whatever our custom, BIG or small, maybe these days before the holiday might help us to remember and be grateful for the little things that help us to be grateful for the BIG DAY!

There are those things that might seem insignificant, but together, make us who we are and how we live. Just a few examples:

I don’t know what I would do without Jim and Deb. These columns that you take the time to read, are reviewed through by Jim, who teaches college-level English, and Deb, a pro when it comes to technology, spacing and layout.

Since my very first column, they have been the important layer between my thoughts and The Business Journal production staff. THANK YOU!

Often, I stop at my favorite fast-food restaurant for a morning coffee (and sometimes a breakfast sweet treat). I usually make that stop just after my morning walk.

The majority of the time I am greeted by two of the morning staff folk, one male, the other, female. Their smiles and “good morning” does wonders as I start the day. Let me be clear: Their spirit adds to a sunny day and makes the cloudy, rainy and snowy days seem sunny.

thanksgiving 2022

Then there is Eddie who, early in the morning, keeps a lot of the downtown storefront windows clean. Sometimes he‘s out at sunrise as I’m walking.

“Eddie, how you doing?” is my greeting. His response, as he is using the tools of his trade, is usually, “Keeping ’em clean!” Yes, he does.

Staffing shortages seems to be a hallmark of the post-pandemic new normal. The grocery store where I shop sometimes posts a notice on its doors that says:


Well, a little comment like, “Thanks for showing up today” can go a long way to an already overworked employee. I wish I could say that only grocery stores have this challenge. But you and I know that such situations are just about everywhere.

How about medical personnel who schedule our appointments, draw our blood and analyze it so that our primary care physicians have our latest numbers when we come to our appointment? How about the pharmacist who fills our needed prescriptions?

Whatever news source you use, please remember that there are reporters who keep our news sources supplied with necessary and accurate stories AND those wonderful human-interest stories that help to keep us inspired.

How about those early morning, no, those VERY EARLY morning individuals who drive the vehicles to regularly pick up our trash or mark detours to guide those heading to work or school?

Don’t forget the early morning DJs who accompany us early in the morning while we’re driving and provide us with the day’s headlines, a few funny or trivial stories and usually a comment on the weather or something like, “Today is National Play Monopoly Day” (Nov. 19).

May I suggest that beginning today, as you peruse this issue of The Business Journal, how about one extra and almost over-the-top thank you to one of the above (or someone similar on your list)?

Yes, one extra thank-you each day until the BIG DAY. Our daily thanksgiving effort beginning today just may help us be more in tune with this year’s THANKSGIVING on Nov. 24.

And by the way, thank you for taking the time to read this commentary.