Tag Archives: community

The Pamela Positive: Peyton March on Obtaining the Things We Crave Most

There is a wonderful mythical law that the three things we crave most in life – happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.” – Peyton March

hand-2000354_1280Peyton Conway March (December 27, 1864 -1955) was an American soldier and Army Chief of Staff.  He had enormous influence in preparing America for World War I, and was highly committed to upholding freedom.

March was the son of Francis Andrew March, who was a founder of modern comparative linguistics in English.  He was among the first professors to advocate English be taught in universities.

Peyton March fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.  During the Russo-Japanese War, he traveled as an American military attaché with the Japanese army, and he also worked with General MacArthur.  March was promoted to brigadier general during World War I, and later to Army Chief of Staff.


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The Pamela Positive: Dag Hammarskjold Gives Hope to the World

Dag Hammarskjold was such a wonderful model of what the U.N. can be and do.  As Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, Hammarskjold was known for his unrelenting energy in striving to create fairness, harmony, peace and collaboration in many corners of our world.  He represented hope and reconciliation for so many.

Hammarskjold flew around the world to try to help so many countries needing support–and independent of whether there was an economic interest there, as it should be.  He acted as a force for the U.N., representing fair involvement for all countries: for example, during one Arab crisis in 1958, the U.S. and Britain sent troops to help Lebanon and Jordan. But Hammarskjold was able to get removal of these troops, and one-sided involvement in the crisis, to stop. He then brokered Egypt lifting its blockade of Syria (which would not join the Arab League.)

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In the 1950s he helped obtain the release of U.S. airmen held captive in China. In approaching the Suez Crisis, when Egypt nationalized the canal, Hammarskjold was able to broker French, British and Egyptian collaboration to keep it open.  Meanwhile, Israel attacked Egypt and the peace process was upset.  With Mr. Hammarskjold’s leadership, U.N. Forces were able to maintain a peaceful solution until a longer term solution was reached.  Laos faced extreme danger and he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection.  He became part of a very longterm process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa and striving to open up attitudes of equality and fairness regarding race.

Hammarskjold’s last challenge was the crisis in the Congo where violent civil war was ensuing. Here he had brokered leaders to  meet in neutral territory to resolve the conflict.   Unfortunately, his plane was shot down and he did not survive.

Dag Hammarskjold was mourned by the world. He was seen as an extremely strong leader led by principles; absolutely tireless and needing little sleep. It was as if he were “on call” for the world.

“The world in which I grew up in was dominated by principles and ideals…I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country or humanity.  This sacrifice required a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions.”

Hammarskjold also created a meditation room or peace room in the U.N.  It is a place only for thoughts, no words, and embraces all types of prayers.  There is a stone in the middle of the room with nothing on it, and yet a shaft of light shines directly there. It is dedicated as an altar to harmony and freedom that is worshipped in many forms, by different countries and peoples, in many varied ways all over the world.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth

Wealth is a state of mind and life. We tend to associate poverty with money. But poverty can be mental, emotional or spiritual poverty. I am often struck by this in my travel and volunteering in developing nations. Often, the divorce rates are low. Families not only stay together, but also spend time together. They gather food from the fields together, cook together and share meals together.

Contrast us: 15 minute family dinners if we are lucky. Fast-food and food distanced from its natural base. We eat alone; we eat in our cars. Divorces are easier to get, and in our mind it can be easier to allow those thoughts in as a possibility, rather than work through critical issues. So we lose the connection to family. We lose the connection to the local farm. We can lose the connection to long-term commitment.

We lose our greatest asset in natural wealth: relationships. Relationships with ourselves, our families, the earth. This wealth creates happy, balanced, productive, lower stress lifestyles, because we are connected in the way we are meant to be.

Further, we often pass by our heritage and where we come from. In many emerging nations, and especially in the continent of Africa, we see tribes value their connection to their heritage as primary importance even above their nationality. There is a deep-rooted connection to rituals and history which keeps people grounded in who they are, and the deeper, long-term meaning of being a part of a larger community in their lives.

Poverty is about money, at times. It has to be addressed as people should have the opportunity to live productive lives and make choices about what they would like to devote their lives to. Poverty is also about our well-being. Often when we get beyond “money poverty,” we forget “well-being poverty,” and get trapped in a go-go-go consumer culture.

I hope we can celebrate the healthy wealth that is accessible to us all in positive, committed relationships with ourselves, one another, our families, our earth, our communities and our heritage. How wonderful this is available to us all.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”

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“Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”
–Terri, from Coudersport, PA, as seen on Dark Chocolate Dove Wrapper

Terri has it right. What a joy to enjoy dark chocolate, which I love, with a truly inspired quote.

Life affords us so many ways to love, and how important we keep doing so. At the same time, we have to be careful, and so Trust, or entrusting ourselves to others, perhaps must be a bit more rare.  I wish it weren’t so… however, everyone is on their pathway of personal growth. So we must honor them, honor ourselves: We should always love, but not necessarily entrust to others.

As far as paddling one’s own canoe. As my Oma says, “You’d better put a little elbow grease into that.” She was always ensuring she had pulled her weight. In fact, when I went over to Oma’s for a sleepover as a young child, even at the age of 8 or 9, our fun together — was working together. We scrubbed the kitchen floor on hands and knees, sharpened pencils, and wrote up a list for the freezer so she knew what was in there. She taught me to care about being clean, ordered and organized, which made her home special. She made it fun. I loved working with my Oma.

Terri, we thank you for a quote which has delighted us all!

The Classic Pamela Positive: Happiness: “Spending Time with People You Love and Who Love You”

“It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.” –Daniel Kahneman, nobel laureate

Gifts and giving.  We associate so much of that with happiness.  Yet our one true Happiness is Loving Others. Oh, that sweet presence to just be around those we cherish and feel at home with!

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel laureate.  He is known for his work in the psychology of decision-making.  He was born in Tel Aviv, spent his childhood in France, and moved to Israel in the late 1940s.  He studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and began his career as a lecturer there.  Kahneman has published extensively in psychology, and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on prospect theory.  He is currently on the faculty at Princeton.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Do All the Good You Can.”

“Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.”

– John Wesley

John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of the Methodist movement, along with his brother, Charles. Wesley went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and taught at Oxford’s Lincoln College. He preached in Georgia and throughout England, giving over 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. One of Wesley’s best-known doctrines is that of “salvation by faith.” He also emphasized striving for “Christian Perfection,” where the believer lived by the love of God. He was engaged with social issues such as prison reform and the abolitionist movement. Methodism is now considered a separate denomination of Christianity, although in Wesley’s lifetime it was within the Anglican church. At the time of Wesley’s death, there were 135,000 Methodists; today, they number some 70 million.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Sit Down at the Table

family-eating-at-the-table-619142_640“…they’ve done studies on children who are required to sit down at the family table and those who are not.  And the ones who are score higher academically; they’re more well adjusted.”

– Paula Deen, Food Network Star

Sit down, be present, share. It’s not just about community, about family… but also about being the best we can be. Sitting down at the table with your loved ones for a mealtime shares love, and, helps you reach your goals!

Deen was born Paula Hiers in Albany, Georgia, the daughter of Corrie A. (née Paul) and Earl Wayne Hiers, Sr. Her parents died before she was 23, and an early marriage ended in divorce. In her 20s, Deen suffered from panic attacks and agoraphobia. She then focused on cooking for her family as something she could do without leaving her house.

Her grandmother Irene Paul had taught her the hand-me-down art of Southern cooking; one of the only places she felt safe was at her own stove, making thousands of pots of chicken and dumplings.  She later moved to Savannah, Georgia, with her sons. In 1989, she divorced her husband, Jimmy Deen, to whom she had been married since 1965.  She tried hanging wallpaper, working as a bank teller, selling real estate and insurance. She then started a catering service,  making sandwiches and meals, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered.

Bio Source: Wikipedia