Tag Archives: Giving

The Classic Pamela Positive: “When You Learn Something From People…” – Yo-Yo Ma

Yo-Yo Ma“When you learn something from people or from a culture, you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment to preserve that gift and to build on that gift.”
– Yo-Yo Ma Continue reading

Praise and Joy Should Be a Permanent Part of Our Soul – Inspired by G.K. Chesterton

A person is fully human “when joy is the fundamental thing in him, and grief the superficial. Melancholy should be an innocent interlude, a tender and fugitive frame of mind; praise should be the permanent pulsation of the soul.  Pessimism is at best an emotional half-holiday; joy is the uproarious labor by which all things live.”

G.K. Chesterton certainly let us know what we need to focus on: joy.  And what a life force it is!  We don’t realize how much our thoughts impact us, our minds, our actions, our responses.  And therefore how it affects others’ minds, actions, and responses. He also points to the vapidness of negative thinking. What can it do, how can it build?  It only tears down. And so we should, as best as possible, obliterate it from thought.

We can contribute so much in this world.  It starts with our thoughts; it starts right now; and that joy can carry us to an entirely different level of harmonious living.

Thank you to Gilbert Keith Chesterton for such wonderful advice.  G.K. was a profound English writer of the 20th century who contributed across philosophy and poetry, as well as fiction.  Two of his best known works are Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. He also wrote a weekly column in The London Illustrated News for thirty years.  He was known for his incredible intellect, desire to decrease political divisions, and strong reasoning skills.

The Pamela Positive: “Do Great Deeds with Little Means” – Russell Conwell

“Greatness consists in doing great deeds with little means in the accomplishment of vast purposes.

It consists in the private ranks of life, in helping one’s fellows, in benefiting one’s neighborhood, in blessing one’s own city and state.”

– Russell Conwell

It’s that simple.

Give something today,
Pamela

Russell Conwell (February 15, 1843 – December 6, 1925) was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and for his inspirational lecture Acres of Diamonds. The son of Massachusetts farmers, Conwell attended Yale University and after graduating enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1880, and delivered his famous speech “Acres of Diamonds” over 6,000 times around the world. The central idea of the work is that one need not look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune – the resources to achieve all good things are present in one’s own community. Conwell’s capacity to establish Temple University and his other civic projects largely derived from the income that he earned from the speech. The published version has been regarded as a classic of New Thought literature since the 1870s.

The Pamela Positive: “Make a Gift of One’s Life”

“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” –David Hawkins

Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.

The 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.

Deborah emailed me this morning 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.

I Envision a World Without Salt Packets

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There are so many things that are packaged within paper, and the waste can be enormous.  I think about the time, manufacturing costs, the transport, and the packaging when I look at individual salt packets.  My guess is, forty granules of salt are contained within a tiny salt packet.  And we’ve got to enclose it with paper, and then put it in another big package to transport it.  There are so many ways that we use paper that are not allowing us to be effective stewards of our environment.

There was an interesting write-up of editorial letters in the Chronicle the other day.  In it, one might think people were against plastic bags, and they were.  But they were also against paper bags.  All of the letters pointed towards using canvas.  And many of them even stated we should feel guilty for using trees to transport our lunches, groceries, or other sundries.  We’re facing quite a revolution here in being thoughtful about how and when we use our natural resources.

We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper.  When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side?  When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend?  Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list.  When you receive a box containing a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts.  Let’s think creatively about our trees.

I remember my very astute four year old niece, when I took her to the restroom, after we had gotten brunch.  With two young nephews waiting in the restaurant, age 8 and 10, and as the sole aunt caretaker, I hurriedly pulled out two paper towels and dried my hands.  “Shame on you, Aunt Pamela.  They teach us in school that that’s a tree.  You’re not supposed to do that.”  Lindsey was absolutely right.

What if every time you picked up, or used a piece of paper, you envisioned a beautiful evergreen, redwood, or eucalyptus tree?  Would we then be so quick to crumple it up?  Would you crumple up a cherry blossom tree?

The Pamela Positive: Keep Your Balance

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I think one key point in life is to maintain balance–balance between time for work, time for loved ones, time for oneself, time for interests outside of one’s business. It’s so important to keep that balance, or we’ll simply burn-out.

I remember once when I was young in my career, and meeting with a fairly older, single woman. She was a successful venture capitalist. But I don’t know that I would consider her life successful. She traveled the world incessantly and was on every important board. But she seemed tired and joy was scarce. She told me to “Pack it all in.”

I didn’t. I kept my balance. I started a nonprofit and I did creative improv. I took care of my very young nephews and nieces. I loved life and I loved the people in my life.

We need to be renewed. We need to feel honored as whole, functioning people with families, outside interests, balanced lives, as well as our commitment to achieving the goals and vision of the organizations we run. The beauty of this balance is that I come back energized to UniversalGiving. My mind has had “time off” and is thrilled to re-engage with our efforts to serve. I look at challenges in a new light. My energy is renewed. I bring new skills to the table; my thoughts are stronger and more helpful. It’s better for me–and for my organization.