There are more than 2000 different species of fireflies. That means we all get to light up the world a multitude of ways. Decide how you’re going to shine today!
God help me to become a clearer more loving person.
To think of others more; myself less.
To listen more carefully; respond in deeper gentleness.
To have a quiet centering of appreciation in
morning and in night.
To convince myself of joy in darkened dawn’s flittering might
To protect my thought as well as spiritual sight.
To see the good, seek the good, see the good again.
To cherish all identity in my family brother friend.
To enrich my self’s experience in understanding God’s word.
Constantly grateful, amaze, at His beautifully crooned world.
From Pamela’s journal, 1994.
Worldwide, 30% of people donate money, according to a new survey by the Charities Aid Foundation. What a beautiful statement to hear. That’s what UniversalGiving is all about. Our vision is to “Create a World Where Giving and Volunteering Are a Natural Part of Every Day Life.” We want giving and volunteering to be as natural as eating. We just have to do it.
One my newest favorite people is Deborah Santana. This is a woman filled with truth, soul, kindness. It radiates from her inner core, her smile, and her clear eyes. When she speaks, it is a woman speaking of a sincere, caring love for herself, for the world, and for each being she encounters. I loved our recent dinner together! She is seeking the truth for herself and everyone.
Then… just add the icing. She is a writer…holds workshops to help people find their own humble power and place in the world… and encourages all. She loves and nurtures her three children. She has won awards, is an amazing businesswoman, and despite some tough personal challenges, she is a survivor, and one willing to help people through what she’s learned from her journey.
Now imagine that Deborah Santana takes it a step further. She doesn’t have to. And she does… she has extended her care beyond her immediate circle, her community, her family, this country. She is involved globally, and allows herself to get right into the heart of the challenges. At this point, I am not going to relate more…for you should just read for yourself, her empowered, loving, realistic, pained but rising words below.
Not a Spoon or a Pot
There are no crosswalks in the small town my friend visited in Haiti.
Beside a road, she met a woman with seven children who sleep together
in a one room hut.
One pair of pants, one shirt each – no other possessions –
not a spoon or a pot;
No picture frames, no photos, no beds, no schoolbooks,
no bus fare, no earrings, no school.
When summer comes, the children go to the countryside to pick mangoes.
I imagine then they are able to eat more than ears of corn
Roasted on a dirt pit outside.
Maybe then they smile, their fingers pulling back thick green mango skin,
eyes widening at the sight of soft orange mango flesh.
Startling first touch of fruit to lip,
Teeth biting and tiny mango hairs stuck between,
Sweet perfumed juice running down chins like mercy.
Similar to my experience in Peru, Deborah sees the challenge of poverty upfront…
If you are interested in supporting the Daraja Academy, which Deborah is creating a film about, please donate or volunteer. It’s a superb effort in Kenya!
Here is more about Deborah. She is a remarkable woman who has changed the world through music and philanthropy, all across the world.
EDAR. It’s the latest innovation in Los Angeles that is taking the homeless community by storm.
Everyone Deserve a Roof. It’s a well functioning shopping cart for homeless people, with special pouches, features and safety mechanisms. At the same time, it can be converted into a bed and shelter at night. A respectful, comfortable ‘mini-home.’ Even Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles, slept in his EDAR with other homeless people, in Skid Row in Los Angeles.
EDAR units are free. And they aren’t trying to ‘make homelessness the norm.’ It’s simply dealing with the situation at hand: There are thousand of stranded people on the streets. And each one of them has a unique story. They are just “the homeless.” They are homeless people, who have come upon challenging times. And during these times, they quite simply, deserve a special home and cart.
I hope you will join me in supporting EDAR. You can help a person who has fallen into homelessness and have a sense of safety, security, comfort and dignity. Everyone Deserves a Roof.
I spoke to my Oma in true candor
Tears came down I strained to hear
As I asked
Will You Be on My Shoulder, or Whispering in My Ear?
Dearest Oma show me how to carry you forever near
So Stay your spirit with me
Day; day, connecting our shared spiritual soul way
I am graced by your activity example compassion-correspondence
Balanced laughter hard work love life no preponderance
What will the day be without Omie I cried to you across a line.
You just spoke to me in the normal, same, loving tones…
darling I will always be with you in every and any time
But where? Do you promise?
Darling I have heard my own mother speak to me clearly
About treating myself at our once-shared lunch at the St. Francis hotel
When you need me you will feel me fearlessly
Do you hear?
Messages of “Somebody loves you”
Run through my mind memory
Oma I do loveyou
This may be a stream of jumbled unpoetic phrasing
But it embodies truest soulmate grandmother-daughter adoring
My heart pours pure grateful unsparing
Once more where will you be?
On my shoulder
or whispering in my ear?
O darling I will simply be looking over your shoulder…
I wish you continue to live life with the same love, only trust
Love you must –
I am, take you with me in my heart wherever I go
There is no far or near
O Darling, I will simply be looking over your shoulder
March 8, 1999
Dearest Omie, show me how to carry you forever near…what an incredible bestest friend I have in her.
I cried and cried on the phone to her, even though that afternoon I just saw her (She was not feeling well, and Opa just lost his driver’s license.) Oh, Omie, I cried; and she was in the calm. How fortunate for me to be able to love her openly, intensely, so unconditionally. I wanted to not grieve some day when she is not earthly present,
but instead to get my love and need for my Omie out to her, out to her, so she could share it with me, help me though it, while she is here.
And she was so calm, and peaceful, and her same self. So standardly calm and strong, telling me, she would be looking over my shoulder…
Oma also told me of Mahetty, her beloved mother, and how they used to go to the St. Francis Hotel for lunch. And one day in San Francisco, after Mahetty wasn’t here, she was thinking about whether to go to a regular sandwich bar or the St. Francis.
“Sometimes I have heard Mahetty talking to me, and this was one of those times.
Mahetty said to me: “Oh Franny, go to the St. Francis!”
And of course, Oma said this with her joyful vigor and exuberance, a beautiful fist raised midway in the air. “And on we go,” she’d say to me. And so I must, with love and trust.
Frances Blaisdell Williams was the first woman woodwind at Julliard School of Music in 1928. She was a pioneer for women and women flutists all over the world. Most importantly, she was Pamela Hawley’s grandmother and one of her best friends.
Heartfelt advice is such wonderful wealth. And it’s even more meaningful when it’s in a letter, which someone took the time to write, and shape with their own beautiful language, handwriting and style.
This is one of my favorites, between a father and a son. John Steinbeck wrote to his son about the meaning of love. I really don’t need to say anything else.
Enjoy this sincere, kind wisdom. I almost feel its warmth emanating from the page…of care, of experience, of hope, of trust. May we all trust love.
“Love…is an outpouring of everything good in you–of kindness, and consideration and respect–not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable…[This] can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had…And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens–the main this is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.” — John Steinbeck, to his son Thom
John Steinbeck was a Nobel Prize-winning author, whose most famous works include The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men. Steinbeck’s works often address social issues such as ecology, cultural standards and the condition of laborers.