Tag Archives: joy

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy at the Dry Cleaners

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Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

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.

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.”*

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.

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?

*Mary Baker Eddy
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The Classic Pamela Positive: The Most Positive Things You Can Say

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Here are the top things you can say to make a relationship work, from All There Is:

You look great.

Can I help?

Let’s eat out.

I was wrong.

I am sorry.

I love you.

 —✶—

Say Something Positive Today!!

All There Is by Dave Isay grew from the StoryCorps initiative, a project to record the oral histories of individuals.  StoryCorps has collected stories from more than 75,000 people, in an attempt to record the history of people who rarely appear in history books.  In 2010, Isay published another book from StoryCorps stories, Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps.  All There Is celebrates love, with heartwarming stories from real couples.  Leroy A. Morgan contributed the list quoted above.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Don’t Just Stop and Smell the Flowers

“Stop and smell the flowers” is a good starting point.  But why not stay with the flower?

Have you ever really looked at what makes up the flower? Its petals, the stamen, the actual layout and folding over of different petals… it’s quite remarkable.

Appreciate the wisdom behind its creation.

Its unfolding process as it blooms…

And its journey of growth.

It’s simple and complex in its beauty and expression.

And so are you. Appreciate the beautiful simplicity and complexity of you and of each of our fellow men, women and children. Be open and beautiful; endure through your growth.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gauguin

Paul_Gauguin_027“I shut my eyes in order to see.” – Paul Gauguin

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) was an artist who was renowned for his Post Impressionism painting in the 19th century.  He was an innovator in the use of bold colors.  At the same time, he also brought out the meaning of each subject.  He balanced authenticity with innovation.

What we can learn from Paul Gauguin:  Let’s ‘see’ differently. Don’t use your eyes.  Instead, use “meaning” to see.

What’s meaningful to you? Be bold in recognizing it.  You’ll see an amazing painting of goodness, kindness and abundance all around you, if you will just see.

Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (7 June 1848 – 8 May 1903) was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist who was not well appreciated until after his death.  Gauguin was later recognized for his experimental use of colors and synthetist style that were distinguishably different from Impressionism. His work was influential to the French avant-garde and many modern artists, such as Pablo Picasso, and Henri Matisse.  Gauguin’s art became popular after his death and many of his paintings were in the possession of Russian collector Sergei Shchukin. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramist, and writer. His bold experimentation with coloring led directly to the Synthetist style of modern art, while his expression of the inherent meaning of the subjects in his paintings, under the influence of the cloisonnist style, paved the way to Primitivism and the return to the pastoral. He was also an influential proponent of wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms.

Bio Source: Wikipedia

The Pamela Positive: “Enjoy When You Can, and Endure When You Must”

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“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”  –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

Then, too, there are times to patiently persevere. Not all is easy or peaceful; at times we must stay the course, step by step, like a diligent marathon runner, committed to her course, unrelenting until the finish line.  It might not be a quick race, but more a matter of a marathon.

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature. His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make the Most of the Abilities We Have” – Jim Abbott

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“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But I believe we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”
– Jim Abbott

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Jim Abbott is a former Major League baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for teams including the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, Abbott threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, and in 1988 pitched the final game to win the United States an unofficial gold medal in the Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, teams tried to exploit the fact that Abbott played with one hand, but their tactics were never effective. Today, Abbott works as a motivational speaker, living in California with his wife, two children and their dog. His parents still live in Michigan, where he grew up. Abbott and his family take the summer off each year to stay at the lake and visit with family and friends.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “We Have Only This Moment, Sparkling Like a Star in Our Hand.”

“Begin now. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake.”

—Paula Best

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This is one of my favorite quotes… that “this moment… [is] sparkling like a star in our hand… and melting like a snowflake.”

Any moment that is sparkling like a star in our hand means that it is precious. And every moment is… find the joy, the sparkle, the love, the warmth of the moment…

And then… make sure you know it is precious, for Paula goes on to state that each moment is “melting like a snowflake.” That means it’s gone.

So was your last moment spent in joy or frustration? In gratitude or upset? Did it help resolve or move forward or cause more consternation? Even in the challenges, our moments can still be constructive. How I learn from this, striving to appreciate the “star and melting snow” of each moment myself.

                                                                              —✶—

Paula Best is a mixed-media artist out of New Mexico.  She owns PINK Blackbird and creates fun and whimsical designs for cards, rubber stamps, and charms.  Her art often includes inspiring and humorous messages.