Being thoughtful through another challenging year

It is hardly a shocking revelation that ominous and disturbing portents surround this Thanksgiving season throughout our Bay Area and the Golden State of California — not to mention the hyperpartisan federal government and the stumbling global economy. For too many San Francisco Examiner readers, the challenges are very immediate and personal.

Some of us are out of work and discouraged about finding a new job in this daunting employment market. Some are still working but deeply worried about their employers’ shaky survival odds. Some see their unemployment insurance benefits about to expire without any congressional action to help. Some are homeowners hammered by fast-rising mortgage payments they financed when real estate values were marketed as America’s hottest investment.

Now the fiscal forces attacking the Bay Area’s hard-working citizens are personal and right in our faces. If it is not us struggling, then it is likely to be someone we care deeply about.

That is exactly why this year the Bay Area so badly needs the comfort of shared festivities like Thanksgiving. And surely the Bay Area cannot have forgotten that we had a memorably transformative celebration only a few weeks ago. On Wednesday, Nov. 3, well upward of 1 million delighted Bay Area residents thronged into downtown San Francisco to bask in our shared communal pride at the thrilling playoff and World Series triumph of the scrappy Giants baseball team.

It was a perfect sunny day, almost unbelievable for November. Never in recent memory had The City been so overcrowded with so many happy people — not a single angry face along the parade route, at the Civic Center Plaza ceremonies or in the long waiting lines for public transit.

Memories of participating in a unique day like that are something worth giving thanks for. It is a welcome reminder that despite those dark clouds passing overhead, we are truly lucky to be celebrating our Thanksgiving in the Bay Area — the world’s most dynamic and inviting environment.

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