Category Archives: The Pamela Positive

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Oh Still, Small Voice of Calm” – John Greenleaf Whittier


       “Oh Still, Small Voice of Calm”

Breathe through the pulses of our desire

Thy coolness and Thy balm;

Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;

Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,

O still, small voice of calm!

– John Greenleaf Whittier


John Greenleaf Whittier (1807 – 1892) was an influential American Quaker poet and abolitionist. Highly regarded in his lifetime and after, he is remembered for his patriotic poems and a number of poems turned into hymns. Whittier grew up on a poor farm with a large extended family and little formal education. However, he was heavily influenced by Quaker ideologies of humanitarianism, compassion, and social responsibility, introduced to him by his father. He remained an outspoken proponent of abolitionism as a founding member of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Many of his early poems dealt with the cause of slavery.  After the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, Whittier turned to other forms of poetry; his most famous include Snow-Bound and Dear Lord and Father of Mankind Starting around 1850, he also wrote folksy New England ballads and narrative poems, sentimental country idylls, and simple religious poems that appealed strongly to his readers.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Man Was Never Intended to Become an Oyster” – Theodore Roosevelt


“Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.”
– Theodore Roosevelt

Theodore Roosevelt was a true action man. He tumbled down the rivers of Brazil in turbulent times in South America. He took a stand for civil rights when it was not popular to do so. He defied the odds in elections, time and time again. He was persecuted and persevered in so many realms, overcoming his fears.


Theodore Roosevelt is famous for his larger-than-life personality, adventurous lifestyle, and strong opinions.  He was an avid outdoorsman all his life, fought in the Spanish American War, wrote books on history and naturalism, and made expeditions to Africa and South America.  He was prominent in politics, holding a number of offices; he is still the youngest person to be President of the United States.  Though popularly known as “Teddy” (and the inspiration for “teddy bears”), Roosevelt actually disliked the nickname, considering it too informal.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Sail Away from the Safe Harbor” – Mark Twain

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain


It’s okay to feel safe. In some ways, we need to feel safe as a launching pad, knowing that someone believes in us.  And from that harbor, we can and should launch into spectacular venues where we push ourselves out of our comfort zone. You will grow and be inspired in ways you could never imagine. You inspire.

For those of you who dream and discover starting from shaky ground, you have a courage that will carry you through to new heights and insights. You inspire!


Mark Twain was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens, in Florida, Missouri, on November 30, 1835.  In his writing, he presented an honest, yet satirical portrayal of antebellum south.  His criticisms of the south, such as in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, cried out against racist attitudes.  He led an exciting life as a ferry boat driver and a prospector during the Gold Rush; his experiences enhanced his understanding of the American culture he wrote about.

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

woman-591576_1280“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: Olympic Trainer and Nike Co-Founder Bill Bowerman Tells Us, It’s Already Inside


Everything you need is already inside. Just do it.” – Bill Bowerman

I love Bill Bowerman’s quote, as he speaks to the potential and belief in each one of us… We should always strive to be our best and to believe in ourselves, even if we don’t always achieve our immediate goal. The importance is in the process and our motives.

We should treat ourselves and others with the utmost care, meaning, “we believe!” The alternative is costly to our health, to what we can achieve, and to what the world will miss…

What I love is that Bill Bowerman translated this belief across many areas — personal values, sports training and business. Believing isn’t relegated to any sector!


Bill Bowerman was a track and field coach for the University of Oregon. In his 24 year career he trained 31 Olympic athletes, twelve American record holders, 51 All-Americans and 24 NCAA champions. One year he won 4 NCAA titles. In 1964 he became the co-founder of Nike. He and his wife Barbara were married for more than 60 years.

The Classic Pamela Positive: It Was the Swinging of the Branches…


This is a special piece I wrote when I was visiting my parents’ home. It was during a very tender time as I was going through my mid-life crisis at age 25. Here, I was waking up and saw the trees outside my bedroom window… I rested and reviewed my heart, my values, and what I value.

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Pamela’s Weekly Words of Wisdom: Celebrate the Beauty of Balance!

cairn-437303_640We’re all here to help each other, and part of that is supporting balance.   And one of the ways we can do this is to encourage your team to share their goals outside of work.   In so doing, this will help your organization’s mission, too.

It’s important to have outside lives and interests.  You have to begin by recognizing those first for yourself.  Your team will see you modeling this balance and how it makes you a whole, fully giving person.

Why do we try to encourage our team to have outside interests, and to share their goals? We know UniversalGiving can’t be everything for everyone (even me :)).  Balance helps keep people energized and refreshed. They maintain strong critical thinking skills and positive energy. Your team also feels they can be transparent about what their goals are. Continue reading