Tag Archives: family

The Classic Pamela Positive: Sit Down at the Table

 

“…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

 

 

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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!

 

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Paula 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

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Dry Cleaners

 

I’ve shared before about philanthropy as “the love of people,” as a daily practice.

 

One day I had a pivotal experience that helped me be a better ‘daily philanthropist.’  Each day, I make a ‘to do’ list. The list might range from contacting a corporate client, to running an errand at the dry cleaners. Checking off these items certainly gave me a nice sense of satisfaction!

 

During this day, I found myself particularly busy. I rushed into the dry cleaners. I swooped in to pick up my clothes and left a bundle of clothes on the counter. “There!” I told myself triumphantly. “I fit in the dry cleaners before a meeting. I have gotten one more item off my list!” Accomplishment, I thought; and yet I didn’t feel it.

 

 

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What I realized is that the dry cleaners wasn’t an errand.

 

No, it was not a ‘to-do.’

 

It was an opportunity to love.

 

 

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Life is not about lists. We aren’t programmed to just get things done. Instead, each activity, each to-do, each task, is actually an experience of loving. This is especially true because each experience usually means interacting with someone else. And when we do this in a calm, present, joyful way, that’s living. And it’s also the true spirit of philanthropy. Loving and being present with others, with mankind.

 

As one great thinker wrote, a person

 

“… is a marvel, a miracle in the universe… With selfless love, he inscribes on the heart of humanity and transcribes on the page of reality the living, palpable presence – the might and majesty! – of all goodness. He lives for all mankind.”*

– Mary Baker Eddy

 

Rushing in and out of the dry cleaners, I had missed a valuable opportunity. What I needed to do was connect with my dry cleaners, know them by name, greet them warmly, and sincerely ask how they are doing. Now I know how Hao is doing, and we have a great relationship of warmth and kindness.  I look forward to our visits.

 

 

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Writing a check is only one type of philanthropy. I’ve found that it exists at the dry cleaners, and pretty much anywhere we want.  Where does it exist for you?

The Classic Pamela Positive: “When The Child Welcomes The Mother, The Mother Rushes Off To Her”

 

“When the child welcomes the mother, the mother rushes off to her” 

 

 – Deborah Santana

 

I am not someone who cancels meetings or dinners very often, simply because it’s something to reschedule and I like to stay committed.  And yet the main reason I will cancel — as would one of my cherished friends, Deborah Santana — is for family.

 

 

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Deborah emailed me that she needed to move our dinner, because her daughter invited her to a weekend together in Seattle.  I love what she said, and it warmed my heart… “When the child welcomes the mother, the mother rushes off to her.”  A mother should go to her child first.

 

There is no more important reason in the world.

The Classic Pamela Positive: God Help Me To Become a Clearer More Loving Person

 

God help me to become a clearer more loving person.

To think of others more; myself less.

To listen more carefully; respond in deeper gentleness.

 

 

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To have a quiet centering of appreciation in
morning and in night.

 

To convince myself of joy in darkened dawn’s flittering might
To protect my thought as well as spiritual sight.

 

 

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To see the good, seek the good, see the good again.
To cherish all identity in my family brother friend.

 

To enrich my self’s experience in understanding God’s word.
Constantly grateful, amaze, at His beautifully created world.

 

From Pamela’s journal, 1994.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Do You Have Any Volunteers In Your Garden?

 

I’m fortunate enough to have grown up with a very small vegetable garden that my parents maintained. We often ate vegetables for dinner from the garden, picked flowers, grew corn, potatoes, zucchini. We also had our “volunteer plants,” meaning seeds that happened to pop up, nurture themselves, and volunteer their wonderful offerings to us.  Sometimes it might be a type of berry, a different tomato plant, or a flower.

 

 

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Let’s encourage all the “volunteers” in our lives.  Whether they be unexpected gifts, new people, or effortless events that pop up into our lives to help, inspire, or encourage us.  Not everything has to be done through an act of will. Sometimes goodness shows up on its own… and we should embrace and be grateful for its welcome entrance into our lives…

The Classic Pamela Positive: We’re Going in Different Directions, No We’re Not

 

One morning as I was leaving for work, my mom and I had a very special interchange.  

 

We live in Menlo Park, and I was headed north to San Francisco.  My parents were headed south to Carmel for a bit of rest.  “Have a great day, Mom!  Thank you for having meand now were going in different directions!

 

 

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No, were not,” she said immediately.

I knew exactly what she meant.  Our minds and hearts are going in the same direction.   Shes taught me to be loving and kind.   To follow my heart, and to do what I love to do.  And to live rightly.   And that is what she does with her life. She is so consistently, joyously serving others.  Ive never seen a better model of this.

 

 

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And so, as we parted that morning, we went in the same direction.

The Classic Pamela Positive: A Great Gift: “Call Me Brother”

 

A story I heard and found inspiring:

A famine was on in the land and a beggar on a street corner reached out to Tolstoy, who was passing by. Russia’s great man stopped, searched for a coin but found none. With genuine sorrow, he said: “Don’t be angry with me, my brother. I have nothing with me.”

 

 

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The beggar’s face lit up as he replied,

“But you called me brother–that is a great gift.”

 

 

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