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. Gandhi was deeply inspired by his Hindu faith, while also drawing on other religious philosophy, and advocating religious tolerance.

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.

***

I’ve recorded a spoken version of this blog. Enjoy!

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Before You Can Give Yourself Away, You Must Have a Self to Give.”

moon-65957_1920.jpg

“Before you can give yourself away, you must have a self to give.” – Isabel Hickey

Similar to George Gurdjieff’s commitment to self and spirit before serving others, Isabel Hickey realized that we must put ourselves first.  In so doing, we become strong and committed to giving ourselves the best, and then we can give our best selves unto others…

isabel hickey.jpg

 

Isabel Hickey was an American astrologer and writer who practiced Humanist Astrology with a psychological approach. If Evangeline Adams was the Mother of Astrology in the first half of the Twentieth Century, Isabel Hickey filled that role in the Sixties and the Seventies.  She wrote “Astrology, A Cosmic Science,” “It Is All Right” and “Minerva or Pluto, The Choice Is Yours.”

Classic Pamela Positive: Communicate With More Than Words

A photo by Dogancan Ozturan. unsplash.com/photos/94taEmdowRw

It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’

What’s first and second? First is the tone. If we are abrasive, affrontive, sarcastic then it doesn’t open up the conversation and action for change. Calm, proactive, inclusive, even — “slow” — conversations help provide dynamic change. It sounds as if it is an oxymoron. But allowing the participants to breathe in the interaction helps bring about the best and most inclusive solutions for all parties.

Second then is body language and what we communicate; third come the words.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Winston Churchill: We’re Not Made of Sugar Candy

cotton-candy-434810_1280“We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies, because we are made of sugar candy.”

-Sir Winston Churchill

Going through a tough time?  Does the mountain you are climbing seem too steep?

But it’s not just a mountain, and it’s not your only mountain.

You are striving not only for yourself, but also for others.  Whatever you are trying to achieve today, whatever you hope to have in the future, can be used as inspiration for others…

You’re learning from it. Growing from it, and becoming a better person. Don’t give up, you don’t want to do that; Don’t be discouraged, it won’t aid your cause.  You’re not a piece of cotton candy, disintegrating; no, you are firm, resolute, patient.

Your mountain lesson isn’t just for you. It will be an example, a story with which you can encourage others.

Thank you for persevering — the world thanks you!

___

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 November 1874 – 24 January 1965) was a British politician and was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and again from 1951 to 1955. Widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the 20th century, Churchill was also an officer in the British Army, a historian, a writer, and an artist. He is the only British Prime Minister to have received the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first person to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.  He was born into the aristocratic family of the Dukes of Marlborough, a branch of the Spencer family.  Churchill married Clementine Hozier in 1908 and had five children: Diana, Randolph, Sarah, Marigold Frances, and Mary. (Bio source: Wikipedia: Sir Winston Churchill)

70 Experts Share Their Best Advocacy Planning, Strategy, Skills and Training Tips

Learn from seventy great minds about advocacy advice! Click here to read the original article on Connectivity.

By Ann Dermody

How would you like to have your own personal government relations or advocacy mentor on speed dial?

Even, if you’d been in the business for years?

Well, we’re about to give you the next best thing.

We conducted 70, (yes, 70!) interviews with some of the leading minds in the worlds of government relations, nonprofit, advocacy, public policy, and fundraising, and asked them four pertinent questions:

  • What advocacy skill have I learned over time, or do I wish I had my first day on the job?
  • Having tried a bunch, the best advocacy strategy I rely on is …?
  • When I’m planning an advocacy campaign, the first thing I always do is … 
  •  What would be the most useful advocacy training?

Just FYI, we asked them a bunch of other questions too, and we’ll give you the full picture of what they had to say soon (including epic campaign fails and successes) – but more of that good stuff later.

For now, here’s a taster of some of the best advocacy strategies, tips and tricks they’ve learned from many collective years toiling in the world of legislation and advocacy.

And when you’ve finished reading, don’t forget to download our great free eBook: The Advocacy Planning, Strategy and Skills Guide.

Finally, to everyone who took part, a big thank you!

And to everyone reading, this is one you’ll want to bookmark!

 

What’s the greatest advocacy skill I’ve learned over time, or what advocacy skill do I wish I had had the first day on the job?

A better understanding of how advocates use social media. In my job, I’m constantly checking Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds for the latest news and updates on client campaigns, but most advocates don’t have the time to stay this connected. Many advocates favor one channel over the other, and are often not checking their social media feed until later in the evening or on the weekends. So, learning how to communicate more effectively to my audience has been critical to ensuring a successful campaign. – Carolyn Weems, VP, The Herald Group

“Knowing when to be persistent and realizing that if your efforts for change do not succeed this year, there is always next year.” – Frank Harris, Director of State Government Affairs, MADD

I didn’t have an appreciation for the value of relationships. When you work on issues, you think ‘policy’ — which is important — but I didn’t realize or appreciate how important it is to not only have the right message, but to have the right messenger. You can be more acutely effective with the right messenger. – Chip Felkel, CEO of Rap Index

teammm

Enthusiasm. If you are passionate about what you do, they will listen. People want to be around people who love what they do. Most people these days want to find a driving purpose for their life. So even if your topic isn’t their immediate interest, your enthusiasm might just persuade them to get involved! – Pamela Hawley, CEO, Universal Giving

I wish I could have had the public speaking presence I have had to develop over many years in my advocacy work. – Meredith Nethercutt, Senior Associate Member Advocacy, SHRM

Networking: specifically, knowing how to strike up a conversation with a stranger or butt into the middle of a conversation between three or four people. – David L. Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs, Public Citizen and Founder of First Person Politics

… social media experience. Members of Congress love to use social media and it can be an incredibly powerful and engaging tool. We now recommend social media strategies to all of our clients as part of their overall advocacy initiative.” – Lincoln Clapper, Director Sales & Marketing, Prime Advocacy

“Live social video streaming didn’t exist when I started at Greenpeace, but I wish it did!” – Ryan Schleeter, Online Editor, Greenpeace USA blog

Database and email management skills. Communication to our supporters is key. Once we’ve captured their emails then it’s up to us to engage, educate and inspire. It cannot replace face-to-face interactions but it allows us to control the message, and hopefully turn the mildly interested supporter into a fully engaged advocate. – Jason Amaro, Southwest Chapter Coordinator, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers 

I wish I had a better handle on logistics when I first started. Time management when juggling multiple campaigns and issues can be tough. – Mark J. Walsh, Campaign Director, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence

There are a few great advocacy skills I’ve learned from my mentors over the years that I now carry with me every day.

  • Develop a solid team.
  • Be persistent, but patient
  • Issue campaigns are like marathons not sprints
  • Define the win up front. – Christine Hill, Deputy Legislative Director, Sierra Club

Listening. When you get your hands on an issue you believe in, it’s easy forget the other voices in the room. The false consensus effect can derail even the strongest campaign. People assume that one point of view is the same as everyone else’s, and too often, people build their campaign from that false consensus. I found that it is best to anchor your advocacy campaign in facts. – Gerry Gunster, CEO, Goddard Gunster

Read the full article here!

Get Inspired, Get a Job Series! (Part 3 of 3)

How can you help a friend who is out of work? Here is the last of a three-part series sharing the advice I gave to my good friend Haruto who was out of work.

Dear Haruto,

        So, here would be a gentle way to approach what’s happening. I hope this is helpful…..I’m thinking of you.

Here’s your gentle action plan….:)

1- For the next two weeks, do not search for a job.  Do not think about, research, look for a job or let your mind think about it.   

2- Now, we’re going to reinforce your building blocks for life.  I didn’t say create. You already have them. That’s so wonderful! You grew up with great values and beliefs.  You just need to reacquaint yourself with them.  

So here’s your ‘job’ for the next two weeks:

  1. Take a shower with your mind in the morning and night.
  2. Pull off any sad or dejected barnacles from your mind.  
  3. If the above is still hard, then fill your mind with positive things.
  4. Reestablish your positive identity. Begin a special journal now with 10 things you’re grateful for.  
  5. Be a philanthropist every day.
  6. Begin going to church consistently.  
  7. Spend slow time in Nature.
  8. Read my piece “Rough” on my blog Living and Giving.
  9. Study Joel Osteen, John C. Maxwell and Stephen Covey
  10. Laugh.

Read Part 1 and Part 2!