Thanksgiving started as one culture thanking another. The Puritans who came from England would not have survived America’s harsh winters without the help of Indians, who brought them food, and taught them what fruits to eat and what plants to farm. And so, when the harvest was complete, and food stored for winter months, the pilgrims invited their Indian benefactors for a feast of celebration...
This lesson of caring between cultures is especially important today. We live in a world in which people and cultures have mixed together so that it´s nearly impossible to draw lines of distinction. All of us attest to that. Some of us come from somewhere else, or have married someone from another place or culture or religion. Some of us have worked in another country, or done business in another part of the world. We watch films and read books, and listen to music, and travel, and enjoy the food that has been created by the minds and hands of those living somewhere else. We live in a time that, due to the progress of technology, the possibility of humanity living in a global community is possible, and not just possible, but reality.
Whether that reality benefits us, or damages us, is up to how we react to this fact. We as businesspeople know that all decisions are bets on risk. Do we overestimate the risk, and underestimate the benefits of this global community, or do we place our bets on the benefits far outweighing the risks? We need to decide, because the world faces problems now that can only be solved globally. Even if we disagree on the causes, our climate is changing, our water is becoming scarce and polluted, our natural resources strained. Conflicts between people increasingly pass easily beyond borders. We cannot hide behind a closed door or a wall, and expect these problems to pass us by. We cannot expect to benefit from the technology of the 21st century by retreating behind the fortresses of the 17th century. We must all remember that the great steps of human progress have occurred when cultures have confronted each other and placed their bets on the benefits of integration. And some of the worst horrors of the human race were the work of groups which saw only risk in integration.