Tag Archives: Values

The Classic Pamela Positive: “A Selfless Person Is More Concerned About the Happiness of Another…”

“A selfless person is one who is more concerned about the happiness and well-being of another than about his or her own convenience or comfort, one who is willing to serve another when it is neither sought for nor appreciated, or one who is willing to serve even those whom he or she dislikes. A selfless person displays a willingness to sacrifice, a willingness to purge from his or her mind and heart personal wants, and needs, and feelings. Instead of reaching for and requiring praise and recognition for himself, or gratification of his or her own wants, the selfless person will meet these very human needs for others. ”

–H. Burke Peterson

—✶—

H. Burke Peterson is an authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the author of “A Glimpse of Glory”.  In World War II, he fought with the American Navy in the Pacific theatre.  He has been married to Brookie Carden since 1947, and they have five daughters.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make the Most of the Abilities We Have” – Jim Abbott

“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But I believe we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”
—  Jim Abbott

Jim Abbott is a former Major League baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for teams including the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, Abbott threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, and in 1988 pitched the final game to win the United States an unofficial gold medal in the Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, teams tried to exploit the fact that Abbott played with one hand, but their tactics were never effective. Today, Abbott works as a motivational speaker, living in California with his wife, two children and their dog. His parents still live in Michigan, where he grew up. Abbott and his family take the summer off each year to stay at the lake and visit with family and friends.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece.” – John Wooden

“Make each day your masterpiece.” — John Wooden

Unmatched. That’s what Coach John Wooden is asking us to be.

To live a life unmatched each day — which is a masterpiece — means living according to your values.

When I usually think about a gargantuan goal, I think of something more along the lines of an Olympian.  Yet it doesn’t always mean running (or winning) a marathon.

It is being your own masterpiece.  That means today, you live with kindness in all the minute interactions you might have.  It’s not just about doing your best, yet also treating others your best.  You,  your being and presence,  are the kind masterpiece that positively affects the world.

From living your masterpiece as an individual, and on this basis of values —  only then can you paint another masterpiece.  Pick a passion…be it gardening, being an excellent bookkeeper, being elected to office, writing a short story, exploring the best hikes and appreciating nature… And step by step, create excellence.  Get inducted into your own hall of fame.

But remember, the greatest hall of fame is…treating others your best.

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball coach. He was a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (inducted in 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach.  He was married to Nellie Riley for 53 years, and they had two children.  After Nellie’s death, John had a monthly ritual until his own death 25 years later, of visiting her grave and writing her a love letter.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Keep Your Balance

I think one key point in life is to maintain balance–balance between time for work, time for loved ones, time for oneself, time for interests outside of one’s business. It’s so important to keep that balance, or we’ll simply burn-out.

I remember once when I was young in my career, and meeting with a fairly older, single woman. She was a successful venture capitalist. I don’t know that I would consider her life successful. She traveled the world incessantly and was on every important board. But she seemed tired and joy was scarce. She told me to “Pack it all in.”

I didn’t. I kept my balance. I started a nonprofit and I did creative improv. I took care of my very young nephews and niece. I loved life and I loved the people in my life.

We need to be renewed. We need to feel honored as whole, functioning people with families, outside interests, balanced lives, as well as our commitment to achieving the goals and vision of the organizations we run. The beauty of this balance is that I come back energized to UniversalGiving. My mind has had “time off” and is thrilled to re-engage with our efforts to serve. I look at challenges in a new light. My energy is renewed. I bring new skills to the table; my thoughts are stronger and more helpful. It’s better for me–and for my organization.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy – Start Loving Others Now

While it is commonly accepted, I’m not sure I agree that philanthropy means giving away ‘money.’ Instead, philanthropy is the love of humanity, of people. And what I cherish about this definition is that it is accessible to anyone, at any time. We can all be philanthropists. Whether you are getting the drycleaning, having a conversation with your boss or coworker, or saying a kind hello to a homeless person, you are a philanthropist. Philanthropy should be, and is, accessible to all.  I love that we can start loving others now!

The Classic Pamela Positive: Dag Hammarskjold Gives Hope to the World

Dag Hammarskjold was such a wonderful model of what the U.N. can be and do.  As Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, Hammarskjold was known for his unrelenting energy given to fairness, peace and collaboration.  He represented hope and reconciliation throughout many corners of our world.

Hammarskjold supported countries whether or not there was an economic interest, as it should be.  Equitable involvement for all countries was his philosophy.

For example in the Suez Crisis, when Egypt nationalized the canal, Hammarskjold was able to broker French, British and Egyptian collaboration to keep it open.  Meanwhile, Israel attacked Egypt and the peace process was upset.  With Mr. Hammarskjold’s leadership, U.N. Forces were able to maintain a peaceful solution until a longer term solution was reached.

In endangered Laos, he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection.  He also became part of a very long-term process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa, opening up attitudes of equality and fairness regarding race.

Hammarskjold’s last challenge was the crisis in the Congo where violent civil war was ensuing. Here he had brokered leaders meeting in neutral territory to resolve the conflict.   Unfortunately, his plane was shot down and he did not survive.

Dag Hammarskjold was mourned by the world. He was seen as an extremely strong leader led by principles; tireless and needing little sleep.

It was as if he were “on call” for the world.

“The world in which I grew up in was dominated by principles and ideals…I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country or humanity.  This sacrifice required a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions.”

Hammarskjold also created a meditation room or peace room in the U.N.  It is a place only for thoughts, no words, and embraces all types of prayers.  There is a stone in the middle of the room with nothing on it, and yet a shaft of light shines directly there.   It is dedicated as an altar to harmony and freedom that is worshipped in many forms, by different countries and peoples, in many varied ways all over the world.

The Pamela Pensive: “Ignorance of Certain Subjects Is a Great Part of Wisdom.”

“Ignorance of certain subjects is a great part of wisdom.” –Hugo de Groot

Ignorance is Good.

Ignorance of gossip. Ignorance of unnecessary negative thoughts.  Ignorance of self-doubting thoughts, and ignorance of unhelpful suggestions which come to our thought.  A lot of these thoughts are just not true… and don’t find yourself accepting them as part of your normal experience.

We all go through a tough day.  Yet we need to defend our thoughts, and therefore our life. Our life is based upon our thought. What you think will come through to fruition… It does not mean we ignore life lessons, a candid talk with ourselves; and at times, gently with others; it does not mean everything is perfect.

But in general, we pursue being, doing and recognizing good.

Hugo de Groot (1583-1645), also called Hugo Grotius, was a philosopher and a theologian, and worked as a jurist in the Dutch Republic.  He was extremely influential in the creation of international law.  He wrote a number of books, including On the Law of War and Peace, addressing subjects such as just wars and rules to govern conflict.  His overall purpose was to urge restraint in rushing to war, and to urge reasonable conduct once war was engaged.