Monthly Archives: November 2011

The Pamela Positive: “Don’t Bunt.”

“Don’t bunt.  Aim out of the ballpark.  Aim for the company of the immortals.” –David Ogilvy

This is a beautiful clear message, especially in honor of our quirky, beloved Giants, about a clear focus.  A focus that aims for the best, drives for excellence, and holds the highest standards in mind.   Mr. Ogilvy did that with his advertising firm, and so we can choose to aim out of the ballpark in our chosen endeavor, too.

David Ogilvy (1911-1999) was a noted businessman, working in advertising.  He is often called “The Father of Advertising,” and was a key thinker in shaping modern advertising.

The Pamela Positive: “If It Is Right, It Happens…Nothing Good Gets Away”

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 thing 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.

World, More Positive News on Women Representation in Government Councils Across the Globe!

I recently attended Leonard Kaplan’s visionary conference in D.C. earlier this month.  We learned amazing statistics about how our world is improving.  One of the great institutions we were introduced to is Ambassador Swanee Hunt’s Institute for Inclusive Security, which helps increase women’s representation in government and crisis negotiation across the world.

Women are gaining steam in their voices.  In fact, as I’ve noted in the past, the United States is actually far behind. Here are some exciting new developments in countries which may not usually be considered advanced.


As early as 2003, Rwanda took a firm stance, giving women strong representation in the government.  In fact, even though this was right after the genocide, Rwanda’s new rules made it the bar none leader in women representation.  In 2003, the first parliamentary election after the atrocities, women attained 49% of seats in the Lower House.  In 2008, women achieved 56% of the Lower House.*

Read this with joy, for rights, security, and representation as a model: Rwanda is the first adopter, and the only country worldwide, to have a majority of women in the Parliament.


In 2005, in the Lower House of their legislative body, women represent 85 out of 250 seats, which translates into 34%.  Women represent 23 out of 105 seats, 22.5%, in the Upper House.  One-third of the seats in the upper house are appointed by the president, and of those, 50% are women.  Much of this representation is over the quota, which guarantees 25% women representatives in the Lower House.*

How thrilling that our country, as well as others, can learn from this global example.  Whether you care about women, human rights, or representing different viewpoints, this is a major step of achievement for anyone disenfranchised across the world.  Thank you, Rwanda and Afghanistan, for such a beautiful example.

You can help.

Donate to educate girls in Rwanda.

Donate to give women in Afghanistan business skills.

Give women the tools they need to seek justice.

*Statistics courtesy of the Institute for Inclusive Security

The Power of Gratitude

Excerpts from an address by Thomas C. Asher, C.S.

There’s one thing that I have experienced and observed over and over about gratitude: it works!  It changes things.  It renews.  It strengthens.  It heals.  Gratitude awakens us to the presence of good…

What gives gratitude such power?  For one thing, it’s difficult to be grateful and fearful at the same time.  It’s almost impossible to be thankful and discouraged at the same time.

Gratitude is natural and normal to us.  It’s standard equipment.    There is no breakdown of the divine order…

The Pamela Positive: Wisdom from Cory Booker

“Give more than is expected.  Love more than seems wise.  Serve more than seems necessary.  And help more than is asked.” – Cory Booker, Mayor of Newark, NJ

I had the privilege of hearing Cory Booker speak at my annual high school symposium at Castilleja.  He is a man of the head and the heart.  It is such beauty to hear him speak, with such thought-through practical solutions, and yet also with great compassion.

One of my favorite stories was on Christmas Eve or New Year’s (I can’t remember which one), a woman called him asking if City Services could help her shovel her driveway.  Instead of asking the office to get involved, he simply picked up a shovel, showed up on her doorstep, and did it himself.  Having met him in person, I imagine he also did it with a brilliant smile.

Cory Booker is the mayor of Newark, New Jersey.  He is a graduate of Yale Law School.  He has operated a free legal clinic; served as City Councilman in Newark; and founded Newark Now to connect residents with services.  Throughout his career, he has focused on fighting drug dealing, assisting low-income residents, and improving education.  Under his leadership, Newark leads the country in crime reduction, and affordable housing has more than doubled, while dramatically reducing the city budget deficit.  Cory Booker has more than one million Twitter followers.

The Pamela Positive: “There Is No Such Thing as Failure…”

“There is no such thing as failure—just God pointing you in a new direction.”  – Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey is an actress, producer and philanthropist.  She is best known for her TV talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which recently ended a 25-year run.  Oprah rose from an impoverished background to become one of the richest and most influential women in the world.