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The Pamela Positive: “Love Is, Hate Is Made”


Let’s really think about this quote by Rebecca Beardsly…

“Love IS… hate is made.”

It tells us that love is a power which is already existing.

Hate of itself does not exist on its own. We manufacture it.

How are we living the power of Love today?

Let’s focus on this, rather than being a part of creating negative actions and reactions.

Pamela’s Weekly Words of Wisdom: Money Can’t Buy Happiness


Money can’t buy happiness. Sometimes we forget this. Remember, it was the Beatles who brought this up through their songs. They had powerful messages which made us think. So the next time you are enjoying one of their songs, remember, too, their life advice. Money can’t buy happiness. Continue reading

God Grew Tired of Us: Wait for the Matatu (Part 2 of 2)

In continuation from Part 1

One area that John Dau, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, hit very forcefully on was about how we can reach our dreams. In America, nothing prevents us from changing the world. Yet John noted how many of us hold ourselves back. “I worked as a security guard at a psychiatric facility. Many of the young girls and boys there wanted to kill themselves because they had just been broken up with by their girl or boyfriends.”

“We have a saying in Sudan, about your partner. It’s like a Matatu,” says Dau, describing the private mini bus system that provides transportation throughout many countries in Africa. “It comes by often.  So there are more opportunities. If one girl doesn’t work out, then we wait for the next Matatu!” he said with a grin.

But even more seriously he pointed to the fact that the people in the U.S. would tell him they couldn’t reach their goals because they had been abused. “I have the scars. I have the beatings on my back.  I can show you them. But they do not hold me back. I have my goals, and I reach them, and we can all reach them. There is no reason, why? Why? Why? Do not let it hold you back, it cannot,” he said emphatically.

An audience member asked John how he retained his strength and ability to persevere, and accomplish many things for so many people. “First I have my faith. I am Christian and God has led me, and that is what works for me. Second is our Dinka culture. In it, we believe we are here to help others, and when we do, angels come into our home, in the form of people.

John Dau is a grateful and strong man, cognizant of all the angels in his life who got him here. He’s now funded four nonprofits, serving thousands through education, food programs, medical clinics, and even the first Sudanese ambulance, made from a makeshift van.

John, thank you for being our angel. Thank you for your example, positive strength, belief in all things possible. And for helping the lost boys of Sudan continue to find and appreciate their sense of home, both in Sudan and the United States.

Learn more about the film


The John Dau Foundation

Groundwork Opportunities

God Grew Tired of Us (Part 1 of 2)

One of Pamela’s pieces from a few years ago…

Can that happen?

I went to this wonderful screening. I’ve seen many movies about developing nations and crises, and this one was unique. God Grew Tired of Us is an award-winning film, produced by Christopher Dillon Quinn, Molly Bradford Pace and Tommy Walker, detailing a horrific genocide in Sudan. It entailed

history, hurt, humor… and heart.

God Grew Tired of Us details the exodus of thousands of young boys over a period of five years.    Starting in the 1980s, more than 25,000 young boys aged 3-15 fled Sudan because the Muslim north had ordered them killed. The conflict between the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the Sudanese Government led to the mass exodus of these boys from Southern Sudan.

These boys walked 1,000 miles through scorching desert to rest in Somalia for 3 years, but the leadership became so turbulent they had to walk back to the desert to get to a refugee camp in Kenya. 65,000 strong were in the refugee camp, with some, at times, being repatriated to the United States.

They journeyed from a green, overflowing land of abundance, open homes, warm families, and playing in the Nile…

To a desert with limited water, scorching sand, sun, and rarely any food.

And it wasn’t just the climate that was so arduous. Families separated, and young boys age 12, carried their 3 year old brother or sister on their shoulders. Pre-teens became the parents who were gone: they had to feed themselves, their brothers, sisters and any member of their tribes. They shouldered responsibility before they even reached adolescence themselves.

What a heartfelt journey of survival, the refugee camp. Every week a list was posted of where people might be placed. The United States was the only country willing to repatriate them. They would go to Atlanta, Rochester, Omaha…

Many of them were grateful for the opportunity. And yet, upon entrance to our country, they were overwhelmed by so much.

The grocery stores with overabundance.

The rooms they visited: “How many people per bed, two or four,?”… “No, each person has their own bed.”

Introduction to the toilet, professional clothes, silverware and unfortunately, the entrance of awfully unhealthy, processed food: from potato chips, considered an “efficient” way to have potatoes, to frozen hot dogs.

Our culture can certainly do better than that, and yet that is how we ‘repatriated them’ to our way of living. There were no coaches or counselors through the process.

Freedom, safety, a land of opportunity. We have so much to be grateful for in the United States. We can think and dream. We strive to reach, and often do, our intimate goals, dreams, inspirations.

And yet…

The heart of Sudan’s culture was missing…

People such as John Dau, one of the leaders of the Lost Boys, spoke of longing…

 For “the evergreen land” of rolling, undeveloped countryside;

For the ability to play in the Nile, with your mom but 20 feet away;

For the sense of community that one truly has 50+ people in your clan;

For the always open door. Everyone was always welcome at any time of day, there was no question.

“We have doors in Africa…

We just keep them open.”   – John Dau

As he described the contrasting experiences he had in Sudan and the United States, he noted how, “You don’t call past 9 pm in America. It is not appropriate to do so. But in Sudan, people visit any time, late at night.”

He essentially was saying… “We never ask… you just come on over. Our home is open.”

It made me think about how open my home is.

How open my cellphone is and my ability to be available and present for others…

How open my heart is to helping and listening to new people…

How open are you…

                    to the love

                               that needs to take place today?

How Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Being Emotionally Scammed

Many entrepreneurs believe.

They have to.

At all times.

It’s how we are made up: We have a vision, and most times, others don’t believe it. They can’t see the future, and are often are afraid of it. So they say no. They say it can’t be done.

Believing is an awesome view of life.  Don’t we want to Believe?

Such as…

      Anything is Possible

                    Truth will Win

                                   The Right Plan is happening Right Now

                                                    Good is Present Everywhere… Find it, See it

These are the things I try to believe. And it can be hard when someone tries to distort it. This is where we entrepreneurs can get “emotionally scammed.”

Yet we often think of a scam regarding a business deal.

Miriam Webster’s dictionary notes a scam as a “fraudulent or deceptive act.”  We have to realize this is not just a business operation, but can come in the guise of a person. While I believe in the long-term, positive nature of folks, at times they may be misled. They might do something wrong or harmful for a temporary period. Or perhaps they behave in a way that isn’t right, isn’t ethical. It could affect your partnerships, your culture, your team, and you, in a significant way.

And yet the entrepreneur might give a second chance… Or at least this entrepreneur gives a second, third, fourth, fifth opportunity. I don’t want to give up on people – just as I wouldn’t want someone to give up on me. 

Yet this is where letting an emotional scam take place in your organization can hurt your organization. It can dent your vision (briefly for a time), or simply slow your progress. It can demoralize your team, and hurt you.
So in essence, don’t get scammed. But remember, it’s “don’t get scammed by yourself.” No one can do it to you; you are the one who continues to give that person a chance. It might be best to release them from your efforts, with the following caveat: You can believe that the person is trying their best, or that there is another right place for them.  In worst case — wish them well and believe you followed your highest sense of right.
Remember to take care of yourself and to take care of your team. Don’t get emotionally scammed.  Keep with the right vision, the right ethics and the right people, and save yourself time, heartache and cultural wear.

The Importance of Friendship

A Time to Talk by Robert Frost

When a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit. Continue reading

Your Best Management Meeting Might Be On The Way to Get Some Water

Your best management meeting might be on the way to get some water in the kitchen.

If you have some positive reinforcement you want to provide, or some minor, gentle constructive feedback, this might be the “meeting” for you.

We live in a world of meetings – or non-meetings. When it comes to management, we normally call a meeting in a conference room or office. It’s official, it’s professional. Yet it can also cause anxiety for some of your employees who see it from a vantage point of concern. Being summoned to the CEO’s office, or even a conference room with the CEO, can make an employee feel anxious, and, less free to share information. We have to find ways, and physical settings, that don’t feel like a reprimand, especially if the issue is minor.

So if you have some gentle tips on how they might be better, or some light constructive feedback, asking someone to come with you on your way to get some water, might be the path for you. It’s natural and everyone needs water. It lessens the impact of the meeting, and you can find a positive, casual way to discuss a situation. When you get your water, you’re not always having to look them in the eye, because you are filling up your glass. It feels less confrontational, allowing the employee to absorb the feedback in a more natural manner.

Yet the other most oft-used form of management is avoidance. We have a management issue, and we avoid it. We won’t hold the meeting because it’s uncomfortable, and we hope the situation gets better. Or if the situation is positive, we self-talk ourselves into “I’d like to do this but just don’t have the time.”

Really? We don’t have the time to tell a valuable employee that they are doing a great job? To reinforce, reinvigorate, reinspire one of our top leaders? We can’t just expect they are a perennial, positive treadmill. Everyone needs to know they are doing well, and not just at review time.

So take them to the kitchen. Get some water, some tea, or heat up a bagel. Tell them how impressed you are, how grateful you are for their positive attitude or for their long-term commitment to your company. It’s joyful, positive and reinvigorating, both for yourself and your team member. And you won’t be able to tell anyone that you don’t have time to get water. You can fit management in, at the same time, as long as it is done with care, focus and the ability to be present.

So the next time you have a brief note you’d like to deliver, ask your team member to walk with you. You’ll be amazed at how effective, efficient — and caring — those 2 minutes can be.