Monthly Archives: June 2019

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Love Is Not Love Until Love’s Vulnerable” – Wisdom Inside a Chocolate Wrapper


“Love is not love until love’s vulnerable.” 


The Dream by Theodore Roethke,

as found on the inside of a Trader Joe’s chocolate bar wrapper








Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) was an American poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, for his book The Waking.  His other best known books include The Lost Son, The Far Field, and Words for the Wind.  His poetry is noted for its rhythm, imagery and focus on nature. He grew up in Saginaw, Michigan and his father was a German immigrant. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan for English. He went on to graduate school at Harvard College before he would leave to teach English at a number of universities. In 1953, Roethke married a former student, Beatrice O’Connell. Roethke is widely considered to be one of the most accomplished and influential poets of his time. He taught poetry at the University of Washington for many years and was highly regarded by his colleagues and students.




The Classic Pamela Positive: How Mahatma Gandhi Teaches Us: To Be…Love and Change, Start with You Now

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

– Mahatma Gandhi


The key word here from one of our greatest leaders is ‘be.’ Every day we have a chance to be. And the most important being is loving. Being kind, gracious, and helping others. That can start today. We can and should whisk away frustration, for every moment of frustration is one not spent on being the positive force we hope to be. What type of foundation are you building? One that crumbles from exhaustion and disbelief, cynicism? Or one of solidity, brick, by brick, with each brick contributing Principle, Love, Kindness, Grace, Strength, Truth, Joy…? As Gandhi says… the other key word here is ‘you.’ No one can do this for you. Not your partner, your parents, your best friend or your spouse.  You… are the being.





Mahatma Gandhi was a political and spiritual leader during the Indian Independence movement. He preached resistance through non-violence and mass civil disobedience. He led the Indian National Congress and advocated for the end of poverty, for women’s rights and for independence from Britain. He also renounced religious violence and did several fasts in protest against it. Gandhi was deeply inspired by his Hindu faith, while also drawing on other religious philosophy, and advocating religious tolerance. He married Kasturbai Gandhi and they had four children together.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Thoughts on Kindness and Battle

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.”





This quote is often attributed to Philo of Alexandria. Philo was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived from 20 BC to 50 AD. This quote is also sometimes cited to Plato, a classical Greek philosopher who was the student of Socrates and the teacher of Aristotle.


I received this great quote from a wonderful academic leader at USC, Warren Bennis. I was sharing my mission and values with Dr. Bennis, and he provided this quote as helpful guidance.


I met Dr. Bennis when I was inducted into his leadership institute while getting my masters in communications. His demeanor is warm, kind, astute and constantly open to new trends and progress in our society. Dr. Bennis, thank you for this meaningful quote!




The Classic Pamela Positive: Read This If You Want To Know How You are Measured



“Don’t ever think that your grades are the measure of your capacity to change the world, because they’re not. 

Don’t ever think that your income is a measure of your capacity to change the world, because it’s not.

 There’s a different metric system if you want to change the world.”

 –       Bryan Stevenson



bryan stevenson 1 (1).jpg



There’s a different way to look at the world. It’s not about your grades.

It’s not about how much money you make. It’s not about your beauty.



fleur-treurniet-325960-unsplash (1).jpg



If you want to change the world, you have to come up with a different measurement system. You have to say and


make sure that things count that sometimes the world says doesn’t count.


I’m counting all the positive things about you,





The Classic Pamela Positive: How You Can Be A Family That Gives Back, Part Two


This is part two of our series on giving with your family. You can read part one here!


When you share giving with others, as a lesson, an inspiration, and as a humble manifestation of good, you are helping the world. You are helping other members of your family see good taking place.

Read on to hear more tips on how your family can give together during the holiday season. Please share with us what you did!

3. Make A Statement

Now, you’re ready to allow your young ones to make a statement. And they might not be young ones? Many of us live in larger families or blended families. Perhaps everyone gets an “allowance” to do good, not just teens.



sharon-mccutcheon-556371-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



Everyone should set aside an allowance from your savings or be given it from their parents and talk about what they did that week at the dinner table. It’s basically a spending account, for the world. Right now, just over 60% of parents provide an allowance.1 Be a part of a movement to give your family an allowance to help the world!


4. Give Your Time

Perhaps one of the most precious things in our busy, Silicon Valley and global world is our time. How we spend it makes a statement. Are you volunteering? It’s great to take your time to do this with other family members.

You might see dad go to be a banker in the morning or go to work at Bapco construction on the street. But when you’re volunteering, you’re all working together, replanting the garden, or serving meals to homeless individuals. By giving back together, everyone is doing the same thing to create a greater good. And it’s been proven if your family volunteers together, “the children felt cheered up,” and they “respected their parents more.”2 Those are two great, family bonding reasons!


Everyone should set aside an allowance from your savings or be given it from their parents and talk about what they did that week at the dinner table. It’s basically a spending account, for the world. Right now, just over 60% of parents provide an allowance.1 Be a part of a movement to give your family an allowance to help the world!



val-vesa-624638-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



So get out there and volunteer and be a stronger family.

I hope these have helped you understand how to live a more impactful life and how to truly give. It’s not just about



rawpixel-570908-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



It’s about the



jon-tyson-762642-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



Let’s Be Living And Giving,





1Fabbri, Briana, “Allowance in America: When, Why & How Much We Pay Our Kids”, NetCredit, published on September 11, 2013,
2 Littlepage, Laura, “Family Volunteering: An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Families”, Center for Urban Policy and the Environment, 2003,
Fig. 6: Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
Fig. 7: Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash
Fig. 8: Photo by Rawpixel on Unsplash
Fig. 9: Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash



The Classic Pamela Positive: How You Can Be A Family That Gives Back, Part One



Often we think about giving in a solitary way. It’s just us giving.

We are approached by nonprofits and we give. We see a cause, and we give.



aaron-burden-211846-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



But you can have a greater impact if you do one thing: include others. Most importantly, include your family.



gustavo-alves-669854-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



When you give solo, you are making an impact. But when you share it with others, as a lesson, an inspiration, and as a humble manifestation of good, you are helping the world. You are helping other members of your family see good taking place. Then, it can become a habit. Others will see that as a model of how one should live. They will naturally give.


Here’s some practical tips on how your family can give during the holidays or any time of year. Please share with us what you did!


1. Model Early


Certainly, a humble attitude regarding giving is always appreciated. When people speak about a long list of their giving, it can be about bravado.


With family, it’s different. Your 4-year old, 6-year-old, 18-year-old… whatever age they are… will understand it and absorb it. So begin gently sharing how you dropped off a meal for a single mom; donated clothes to the neighbor down the street; or quietly funded a scholarship. All of these actions make a difference. If your child sees this is the norm, he, she, they, or we will do it too.



tyler-nix-504391-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



2. Come Up With Your Family Values

Have a dialogue at the family table about what’s important to your family. Is it love? Truth? Doing the right thing, being selfless, slowing down, listening, helping others…? You can decide as a family and make sure that you have that up on an inspirational white board, bulletin board, or chalk board that you can point to. You can read before you sit down for your meals. Have a vision for the type of family you want to be, serving with the world and your local community.

Next, come up with your values. You don’t need more than three. They might be Grace, telling the truth, and loving kindness.  You can always change them but it’s important to start living and practicing them. You can then talk about it at the table. What did you do today to really live these values?



ty-williams-466945-unsplash (1) (1) (1).jpg



Is this philanthropy? You bet it is. The definition of philanthropy by Merriam-Webster is

“goodwill to fellow members of the human race” 

which also means loving people. Loving people is the purest form of philanthropy. It’s from the Latin philanthropia, which is defined by loving people:

Phil (Love) + Anthrōpos (human being).


Untitled design (3) (1).jpg



Thanks for staying with me on giving together and philanthropy. Stay tuned tomorrow to learn more about love and giving!





Fig. 1: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Gustavo Alves on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Ty Williams on Unsplash
Fig. 5: Flyer created on Canva




The Classic Pamela Positive: “I don’t think you ever stop giving.” —Oprah Winfrey


  “I don’t think you ever stop giving. I really don’t. I think it’s an on-going process. And it’s not just about being able to write a check. It’s being able to touch somebody’s life.”

—Oprah Winfrey



Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 4.46.43 PM.png


That’s what we are all here to do: Touch someone’s life today.  

Stop what you are doing, look up, and care about someone today. That might be the window washer, the barista at Peet’s, your mom, or the building manager.


Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 4.46.58 PM.png



Everyone needs care, love, and attention. Touch someone’s life, right now.

How will you do it?

Touch a Life,




Screen Shot 2018-08-30 at 4.47.11 PM


Oprah Gail Winfrey was born on an isolated farm in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on January 29, 1954. Winfrey’s unmarried parents separated soon after she was born and left her in the care of her maternal grandmother on the farm. The poor, urban lifestyle had its negative effect on Winfrey as a young teenager. Winfrey said her father saved her life. He was very strict and provided her with guidance, structure, rules, and books. Winfrey became an excellent student.

Winfrey became Miss Black Nashville and Miss Tennessee. The Nashville Columbia Broadcasting System affiliate offered her a job; Winfrey turned it down twice, but finally took the advice of a speech teacher, who reminded her that job offers from CBS were “the reason people go to college.” Winfrey was Nashville’s first African American female co-anchor of the evening news. Her emotional ad-lib delivery eventually got her transferred to the daytime talk show arena, and after boosting a third-rated local Chicago talk show to first place, she launched her own production company and became internationally syndicated. By the mid-1990’s, she had reinvented her show with a focus on literature, self-improvement, and spirituality. Though criticized for unleashing a confession culture, promoting controversial self-help ideas, and an emotion-centered approach, she is often praised for overcoming adversity to become a benefactor to others.

Winfrey’s The Oprah Winfrey Show was hugely successful. It was broadcasted in 145 countries and had an average of 233,000 viewers in 2016. When her show first began, her audience was 55 percent larger than that of her closest competitors. Since its creation in 2000, O, The Oprah Magazine has become one of the most successful titles of the periodical press, its print run copies exceeding 2 million.


Photo credit: Pamela Littky for VARIETY