Tag Archives: community

The Classic Pamela Positive: Happiness: “Spending Time with People You Love and Who Love You”

“It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.”

- Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman 

Gifts and giving.  We associate so much of that with happiness.  Yet our one true Happiness is Loving Others.  Oh that sweet presence to just be around those we cherish and feel at home with!

 

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Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel laureate.  He is known for his work in the psychology of decision-making.  He was born in Tel Aviv, spent his childhood in France, and moved to Israel in the late 1940s.  He studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and began his career as a lecturer there.  Kahneman has published extensively in psychology, and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on prospect theory.  He is currently on the faculty at Princeton.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Do All the Good You Can”

“Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.”

- John Wesley

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John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of the Methodist movement, along with his brother Charles. Wesley went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and taught at Oxford’s Lincoln College.  He preached in Georgia, and throughout England, giving over 40,000 sermons in his lifetime.  One of Wesley’s best-known doctrines is that of “salvation by faith.”  He also emphasized striving for “Christian Perfection,” where the believer lived by the love of God.  He was engaged with social issues such as prison reform and the abolitionist movement.  Methodism is now considered a separate denomination of Christianity, although in Wesley’s lifetime it was within the Anglican church.  At the time of Wesley’s death, there were 135,000 Methodists; today, they number some 70 million.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Communicate With More Than Words

It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’

First, it’s tone.  Tone communicates the most for us. If we are kind, inclusive, loving, we have opened up a wealth of goodness, opportunity and long-term relationships.  That’s enriching, positive communications.

If you say “you look so nice!” – that can be lovely or sarcastic. It can be kind, gentle, or demeaning and contradictory.  So calm, proactive, inclusive, “slow” conversations, or enthusiastic, proactive and loving statements, can help provide dynamic change.

Your tone is what opens up the conversation and action for change.   

Second, it’s is body language.   If you say something with gusto but your shoulders are caved in, you are contradicting yourself.  How you carry yourself, walk, speak — and especially the intent of your eyes, communicates profoundly. Be strong but humble with your body. Honest and clear, but fluid in your movements.  Find that special balance of strength and openness in how you present yourself, your postures and even the way you move.

Third, it’s words.  Words are the least communicative.  You can reinforce by thousands of percents the words in a positive way or negative depending on how you say it.

How we communicate and the tone we choose, each moment, can create a more loving, trusting world. Realize how much you can impact the world today, by this simple but important commitment.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Look Deeply and Recognize the Real Enemy” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“If I can say anything to you, it is to invite you to look deeply and recognize the real enemy. The enemy is not a person. That enemy is a way of thinking that has brought a lot of suffering for everyone.”

- Thich Nhat Hanh

Anything negative — is not from a person.

Radical thinking?  It shouldn’t be.   If we view the enemy as simply a thought and not a person, we depersonalize it.   It’s temporary, changeable.   And we allow the person to grow beyond it, rather than be it.

We can then eliminate personal offense, and work constructively towards a solution.

Look at the Why

If something seems to be negative, we can encourage ourselves to look at “the why.” Why might someone think, or take action, in this way?   This offers us an opportunity to develop empathy. Perhaps this person—let’s call her Jeanine—came from a difficult circumstance or has been hurt.

It’s not Jeanine who is “bad,” but the experiences which occurred in her life which impacted her.  It’s those events that led to the thinking and action behind negativity.

So Jeanine’s identity is not “Prejudice”, “Anger” or “Hurt”:

It’s instead:

The most beautiful thing about this is the following.

She can change.

Allow her to do so.  Wouldn’t we all wish to be forgiven for a past action?

Happy PeopleEvery day we can begin again.   We can embrace a fresh purity for each person in our lives, allowing us and others to lives to our fullest – with Love.

 

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Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and Zen master.  He is a well-known poet, writer and peace activist.  A native of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War he helped found the “engaged Buddhism” movement, combining the contemplative practice of the monastery with active ministry to victims of the conflict.  He founded the School of Youth Social Service, a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and a Vietnamese peace activist magazine.

During a trip to the United States, Thich Nhat Hanh persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War; King subsequently nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Thich Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of more than 85 books on mindfulness and peace.  He founded the Plum Village community in France, a Buddhist community in exile.   He continues to live and work at the Plum Village, and leads retreats worldwide on “the art of mindful living.”

The Classic Pamela Positive: The “Big H”: The Unfailing Recipe for Happiness

We search. We search for the “Big H,” happiness, all the time.  We try to find our right calling.  Our right partner in life. The right home, city, school.  And yet…

Happiness is about sharing.  It’s experiences which show we care about others, or sharing a special moment with someone.   It could be a celebrating an occasion, sharing a thought, or simply sitting by someone you love.

The happiest times in your life are usually in the presence of someone special.

So I love, then, Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s wisdom on the recipe for happiness:

“Serve others. The unfailing recipe for happiness and success is to want the good of others. Happiness and success is when I see others happy. Happiness is a shared thing.”

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu is a Christian cleric known for his work for human rights.  Active in South Africa, he was an important opponent of apartheid.  Other causes he has worked on include fighting AIDs, homophobia, tuberculosis, racism and poverty.  Nelson Mandela described him as “the voice of the voiceless.”  Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2005, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.