Finding an Attitude of Gratitude

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Across the 50 states on this day—the last Thursday in November—people are coming together to celebrate the bounty of their lives and to take a valuable moment to think about things for which they’re grateful. Of course family tops my list. Everything else pales in importance … Good health is another irreplaceable gift worth celebrating … And there are many others.

Last week I learned of yet another one—something that affirmed my own theories and expectations of where our global economy is heading—the result of some conscientious business leaders making a commitment on behalf of their country and its economy.

In response to some question marks regarding the Trump administration’s incoming policies toward climate change, a list of 365 businesses and investors crafted a concise message restating their commitment to a low-carbon economy.

Numerous big businesses put their names to a public letter—among them Mars, Kellogg, DuPont, eBay, NIKE, Starbucks, Virgin, Monsanto, Staples, IKEA, Hewlett Packard, Levi Strauss, Hilton, General Mills, Gap, Intel, and hundreds of others. In it they not only pledged support to seeing climate change addressed—in part through the Paris Climate Agreement—they also articulated the importance of U.S. participation in a sustainable future as a vital means of creating jobs, industry and boosting competitiveness in the global economy.

Let’s face it. The boat has sailed. From a business standpoint it’s no longer a relevant question whether or not you believe in the climate crisis. The fact is that the global community has accepted it and businesses are recreating themselves to address it.

On one level it can be argued that implementing more stringent regulations in any industry are never in the businessman’s best interest. It’s understandable to assume that, in the short term, any regulatory restrictions will impede profit and thwart production.

Yet there’s a bigger picture at play here, not just with sound ecological stewardship, but countless business opportunities down the road—more than we could otherwise have if things remain static.

A wise entrepreneur is always looking ahead—recognizing the long-term trends and, in essence, determining and accepting in which direction the winds will blow.

If it intends to remain competitive America can’t suddenly start moving in the opposite direction.

Exiting the campaign circus and beginning his transition into the sobering role of world leader, the president-elect must now judiciously determine what plans and policies best serve the country at large. While he may harbor his own misgivings about scientific evidence or what have you relating to climate issues, I tend to believe—as a successful businessman himself—he can’t fail to recognize that business the world over is changing within this new paradigm.

Mr. Trump has already demonstrated himself to be a savvy entrepreneur. I expect, with the help of these forward-thinking businesses leaders and his own intelligent advisors, he will give this landmark issue prudent consideration from all angles.

I’m grateful so many of my peers recognize the importance of the U.S. and the world at large embracing the future with a vision toward the opportunities inherent in change.