Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Pamela Positive: Australia and New Zealand Lead the World in Giving!

What do Australia, New Zealand… and then Canada, Ireland and the U.S. have in common?  

Giving!

In a survey focused on charitable behavior, Australia and New Zealand attained philanthropic scores of 57%, showing them to be the most ‘giving nations’ amongst 153 countries.   Overall philanthropic scores were determined by a combination three categories–giving time, giving money, and helping a stranger.

So here’s the positive examples of top countries for philanthropic scores:

AUSTRALIA – 57%

NEW ZEALAND – 57%

IRELAND – 56%

CANADA – 56%

UNITED STATES – 55%

SWITZERLAND – 55%

The Pamela Positive: Don’t Throw Out the Baby OR the Bathwater

The expression says, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I think we have to change our mindset completely…don’t throw out the baby…and don’t throw out the bathwater.  Both represent life.

Two million people are dying annually due to lack of clean water.  Most are children.

So if you find yourself with extra water at the bottom of a hot pot, or an unneeded glass of water…don’t throw it out.  We can water our plants.  Or we can use it to scrub down the basin, clean the bathtub, scour the shower, or dampen a cloth when we’re wiping down the kitchen table.  Let’s not waste something that actually sustains other people’s lives.

The Pamela Positive: Courtesies Which Strike Deepest

“Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike the deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart.” – Henry Clay, 19th-century American statesman

Why “Yes And” Is Important for Improv…and Investing

Building Upwards

Charly Kleissner and his fellow collaborators at the Rockefeller Foundation have produced an excellent book on social impact investing: Solutions for Impact Investors: From Strategy to Implementation.  It talks about one of the most important concepts in life: “the and.” In a magnificent way, it mirrors one of the most important principles in improv, which is “yes and.”

“Yes, And” On The Stage

When on the improv stage, a key principle is listening to and supporting your partner. You create a very strong sense of team.  You also further the story in a way that is interesting to the audience. For example, if someone says, “let’s go to the store,” you can “yes and” it by saying, “wonderful, I love JZ’s store, because it has such great antiques that date back to the fifties!” What you have done is “yes and-ed” your partner. You have essentially built on the first concept they introduced, a store, while adding a name and descriptive product about the store.

You’re building the scene together, adding color, life and meaning to it.

Contrary to good improv, one could have done a “yes but.” For example, “Okay, that store is fine, but I really want to go to the movies.” That is denying your partner on stage.   It invalidates their idea.  And you are not moving the story forward. You’ve essentially blocked them. 
  
Your story has now halted…and your partner does not  feel supported.
 
This is the importance of “yes and-ing” rather than “yes but-ing.”  I think of this often for how we live life off the stage.  Am I building off of someone’s idea, and Building Upwards
 
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“The And” of Investing

Charly Kleissner’s latest book has opened up a new paradigm for those involved in financial investing. Their core concept is that one can invest financially in a project which provides a financial return, and a social return. One shouldn’t have to make a choice.

And one doesn’t have to make a choice if you evaluate the project from financial, social, environmental and community aspects. Charly and his co-authors encourage investors to look not only at the core product but also the manufacturing processes, the supply chain, its employee practices, community presence, government structures, and impact on the industry. All of these factors can contribute to building a healthy company, strong community and a strong financial return. In fact, the authors of Solutions for Impact Investors call not doing this the “Tyranny of Or.”

Jim Collins’ “The Genius of And”

Jim Collins, author of Built to Last discourages companies from this “Tyranny of Or” by asking companies to follow “The Genius of And.” (page 14) He emphasizes the importance of short-term and long-term performance, of profit and, the pursuit of purpose beyond profit.

Solutions for Impact Investors then takes this to the next level by examining all the components which can make these investments work.  Investments that benefit not only one’s portfolio, but  also a sustainable environment, community, and corporation.

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The Beauty of “Yes And”

So we go back to the beauty of “Yes And.”  Whether you’re an investor, an improviser on the stage, leader of a team project at a company, mom, or a rugby captain, we can all practice the glory of “yes and-ing” one another.   Be a part of Building Upwards… and add to the good already there.

The Pamela Positive: Why Certain People Are In Your Life

These words have been inspiring to me, and I am glad to share them with you.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed outwardly or inwardly.  They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.  They may seem like a godsend, and they are.  They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.  Sometimes they die.  Sometimes they walk away.  Sometimes they act up or out and force you to take a stand.  What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.  The prayer you sent up has been answered and it is now time to move on.

When people come into your life for a SEASON, it is because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.  They may bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.  They may teach you something you have never done.  They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.  Believe it!  It is real!  But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; those things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.  Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person (any way); and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.  It is said that love is blind, but friendship is clairvoyant.

The Pamela Positive: “Every Child Will See Themselves As a Resource to Their Community…”

“Our organization’s vision is that one day, kids will grow up very differently than today.  Every adult will feel responsible to pass on wisdom and experience to children; and every child will see themselves as a resource to their community.  All children will have an opportunity, morning, ‘noon and night to get a world-class education through active hands-on learning.” – Eric Schwarz, a leader who created Citizen Schools

Eric realized that low-income children needed to be served by parents, the community, teachers–in order to succeed.  So everyone becomes a citizen teacher…  Yet equally important, children were and are valuable contributors to our world!