You probably don’t need another Thanksgiving message reminding you to be grateful. But maybe it’s worth saying that gratitude’s value goes well beyond bringing positivity into our lives. I think it’s actually a fundamental ingredient to driving larger social change.

We often seem to think that we are best set up for change by believing the world is on the brink of collapse – as if this will shock and shame us into action. I worry this actually shuts us down more than it inspires.

When I practice gratitude instead, I remember everything I have that those before me did not. I remember all the incredible change that has already happened. I remember how eminently capable humans are of driving change. I think of all the change that is to come.

Most importantly, when I believe that my life is abundant and worth saving, I am most inspired and able to pay it forward.

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Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA with his partner Sara, child Owen, and cat Winnie.

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