Tag Archives: Kindness

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Smile at a Stranger, and the Important Reason Why”

 

“Walk down the street and smile at a stranger. He’ll smile at the next stranger passing by, and then the whole street is smiling. And no one knows why.” 

-Juliana Margulies

 

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I love this quote. The only reason why we need to smile… is simply to give joy. Give joy to ourselves and to others… it’s one of our main reasons for being. And while people may not know why you are smiling, they’ll soon find out. It makes the world go around with peacefulness, graciousness and loving kindness. That’s reason enough. 🙂

 


Juliana Margulies is an American actress who achieved success as a regular character on ER, for which she received an Emmy. She grew up in New York, the youngest daughter of Jewish immigrants. Her mother was a teacher and her father was a philosopher and Madison Avenue advertising executive. More recently, she took the lead role in The Good Wife, and has received a Golden Globe and two Screen Actors Guild awards. Margulies attended Sarah Lawrence College, where she appeared in a few college plays. In 2007, she married to Keith Lieberthal, and they have one son together.

Bio Source: Wikipedia  Fig¹. Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “What Is My Life If I Am No Longer Useful to Others” – Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

 

“What is my life if I am no longer useful to others?” 

— Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

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If you have ever lacked purpose, or feel out of alignment, know your life has purpose.  You don’t have to wait to find it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is one of our most renowned writers, philosophers, and literary creators. He came from a wealthy family; he didn’t need to do a lot if he didn’t want to.  But he used his skills to create literature that made us think.  Additionally, top leaders of the day came to him to hear his thoughts, which were profound and inspirational. So not only did he create excellent works of literary art, but he also engaged world leaders with his deep thinking. They became better people, because of him. They sought him out for his thoughts.

We can learn from Goethe. The whole purpose of Life, and your life, is to bring some sort of goodness to the world.

Yes, it’s that simple. You might get a Ph.D.

 

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and profoundly change how renewable energy powers our communities.

But you might also simply smile peacefully

 

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and joyously to all that come your way.

Both change the world.  One is immediate, one is long-term.

The point is your life can and must be useful to others.

Stop the boredom, the frustration, the hurt. Your life is needed now. Give your smile and devote your life to doing good. Goethe got it right!

 


Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was one of the rare giants of world literature. Throughout a long and full life, he demonstrated his prolific genius in many different areas. Goethe was born August 28, 1749, in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, to a wealthy, middle-class family. He was educated at home by his father and tutors until he went to Leipzig to study law. Following his university graduation, Goethe returned to Frankfurt. His mind was filled with many exciting ideas, and he devoted himself to philosophical studies. It was here that he wrote his first important metrical drama and then the superb short novel. These aroused widespread interest and admiration.

On his return to Germany Goethe lived in a state of semi-retirement and concentrated on his studies, writing and cultivate his wide interests. In 1806 Goethe married a woman who was his mistress for many years, and had a son in 1789. As the years passed he became acquainted with many of the most prominent men of his time and was highly regarded by all. Napoleon Bonaparte was among his most famous admirers and remarked when they first met, “Vous êtes un homme,” (You are a man). By the time of his death, Goethe had attained a position of unprecedented esteem in the literary and intellectual circles. Because of the breadth of his thought, his comprehension of human nature and optimistic faith in the human spirit, and his intuitive grasp of universal truths, Goethe is regarded by many as the outstanding poet of the modern world. He died March 22, 1832, but his work lives in its meaning and value for modern day readers.

Bio Source: Wikipedia  Fig¹. Photo by Wikimedia Commons Fig².  Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplush   Fig³. Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: Be Prepared to Be Kind

 

Be Prepared. That’s the motto of the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.

When you think about it, being prepared is not just for wilderness trips. And while being prepared often means having savings, storing water for an earthquake or natural disaster, and keeping a flashlight in your car, it also means being prepared qualitatively. It’s about being prepared to react with positive qualities, in your day to day life.

 

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It’s all about what you hold, store and prepare within yourself.

So be prepared to be kind.

Some days you may not receive pleasant news. Will you react in anger, distrust, sadness, gloom? Or will you respond with patience, a willingness to see all sides and the realization that all things are truly working towards a greater good?

 

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Set yourself to react kindly. That means both to yourself and others. Don’t come down hard on yourself; don’t come down hard on others. Be understanding.

Be prepared to be kind. It’s the ultimate preparation.

 


Girl Scouts: Girl Scouts of the USA is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls—all girls—where, in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world. In partnership with committed adult volunteers, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth.

Boy Scouts: The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.

Bio Source: Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts of America  Fig¹. Kevia Tan on Unsplash  Fig². Hian Oliveira on Unsplash  

The Classic Pamela Positive: Read This If You Want to See a True Team at Work

 

Dear Living and Giving Readers,

I just had to share what a wonderful note I received from one of my core team members, Aurora. She works in Office of the CEO, and is dedicated, professional, and really strives to serve the world! Imagine my surprise as CEO when I received this:

 

Hi Pamela, Sam, Ayuko,

Today (April 20th, 2018) is my birthday—and in the spirit of living and giving, I wanted to “donate” today. I’ll still send my EOD (End of Day) Report, but I won’t mark today’s three hours in PayChex.

While I personally don’t have a lot of money to donate, I at least hope that donating my time in this way can demonstrate my appreciation for UniversalGiving.

Thank you so much for all that you do, making the world a better and kinder place.

Best,

Aurora

PS: I’ve been accepted to Princeton’s PhD program for Politics, focusing on International Relations. I requested a one-year deferral so that I can start a church with my friends first in 2018; and, Princeton approved of the deferral request! So, I’ll be getting my PhD starting Fall 2019! Thank you for all your support since September, encouraging me to grow as a professional and as a person.

 

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As CEO, you have a lot of news, positive and challenging, that you receive every day. Imagine when I received such positive news above. A team member so dedicated, caring and loving.  It fills your heart. You certainly don’t expect it and when it happens, you are floating with gratitude for days.

And so here was my response.  It’s so important to be grateful, but also to recognize and celebrate their lives holistically:

 

Dear Aurora!

What inspiring and exciting news… CONGRATULATIONS! I am calling you right now. Aurora, that is just wonderful news on all fronts.

First, on Princeton. What an achievement. We are so pleased you are advancing in such a wonderful way. What a gift for them and you to have this opportunity! You will learn so much on the international front… I can’t wait to hear!

Second, great you are accomplishing your goals on the church front. Aung and I pray and say affirmations in the office, and it’s lovely. He’s Buddhist and I’m Christian, and it’s a great way for us to share and give strength to our world and UniversalGiving. So good for you accomplishing this spiritual goal for yourself. Sharing positivity is so important, and you’ve chosen an important way!

Third, what a great gift! To donate your hard work for today… what an honor to have your thoughtfulness. You are a true, dear, kind ethical and utmost caring person. How honored we are to have you! That will sing in my heart for many years to come. I’m also CC-ing a few other core team members from UniversalGiving, because we love to celebrate our positive culture and any good news!

Thank you again, Aurora, for your great news, and sharing it with our UniversalGiving Family. We are rejoicing for you! Great job! Wonderful! Upwards you go, dear Aurora!

Warmly and with Great Gratitude,

Pamela

 

Sometimes, when we work at a nonprofit or do good in the world, we forget it can come right back to you. Aurora gave me that gift today. I am so grateful for Aurora Ling who is a precious member of the UniversalGiving® team.

Everyone has a team. It might be at work; a certain Business Unit; a wrestling team – you’re the coach or you’re on it; your Quaker prayer meeting, mosque, family or after school Physics class.

Be grateful for everything, and especially for your team, today! 

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: What We Can Learn from the Gentle, Observant Jain Religion

 

Jainism is a group that believes we should leave barely a footprint on this earth. They believe in gentility, kindness, and care for every living creature. It’s even to the extent of not eating root vegetables because pulling up the roots makes the plant die. Jains honor every living thing.

 

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Founded in a similar time frame as Buddhism, Jainism primarily existed in Hindu parts of India. In the present day it is a small but powerful minority among the world’s religions, with some 4 million followers in India and growing communities elsewhere in the world. A few core beliefs of Jainism include that every living being has a soul; non-violence is the path to right thinking; attachment to possessions should be limited, and one’s life should be lived to be useful to others.

May we be gentle, respectful and observant of the preciousness of life in all its form.

 


Fig¹.  Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplush

The Classic Pamela Positive: How You Can Give Back to a Youth- Without Money

 

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Do you know what some of the greatest needs of our youth today are?

Love.

Trust.

Safety.

Kindness.

 

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So many of our youth need tangible, practical support.

Here are three key areas:

1. Emotional Support

That’s having someone who’s there to listen and to support you with whatever you are feeling, or facing.

2. Inspirational Support

This means that you are encouraging them to live their best lives and showing they can take a step forward, they can make a difference in their lives. Eventually, you want it to be not just about them, but about the future world that they’ll help create.

 

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3. High Level Support

These are conversations that help youth understand how the world works and how they can impact the world. This makes them feel like their day-to-day and the world is “navigable”. How in a job they can support their future family. How they can march for freedom. How there is Temporary Assistance for Needy Families to help them get food and day-to-day support.

4. High-Level Attention

Many kids have been neglected. They might have been left on the streets. Or they might have parents who don’t have time for them, or don’t wish to spend time.

So how is it, exactly, that you can help? With your committed, High-Level Attention. Here some of the qualities that you can embody with any youth you encounter.

 

Be nurturing.

Provide friendship.

Give them some love.

Express compassion.

Be empathetic.

Affirm every good decision and every good word they speak.   

Help be a model for caring relationships, by caring for them.

 

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    5. Recognize Any Accomplishment

During your time with them, you can identify their strengths and I would repeat it often. Remember, they missed out on needed, life-giving encouragement.   Everyone needs to hear that they’re good at something and often.

Recognize them for any accomplishment.

 

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Celebrate their accomplishments, and often. Bring it up again and again. You’re essentially saying:

I see you

I See You Too,

Pamela

 


Fig¹.  Photo by Mm Teng on Unsplash
Fig².  Photo by Sue Zeng on Unsplash
Fig³.  Photo by RhondaK on Unsplash
Fig⁴.  Photo by Jeffrey Lin on Unsplash
Fig⁵.  Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “A Smile Is a Blessing” – Mpho Tutu

 

“A smile is a blessing…It really doesn’t take that much to live into our blessing and make the world better for each person we encounter during our day.”

-Mpho Tutu

 

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This quote is from Mpho Tutu, the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and an ordained minister herself.

She was quoted in the Christian Science Sentinel, in an article discussing her and her father’s new book, Made for Goodness. She also said that they hope the book will help people to “recognize in themselves their own innate goodness.”

How can we each be a blessing to another person today?

How can you share your goodness today?

How can you share your smile?

 

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It’s really a life calling to spread our innate goodness ― and it’s infinite.

 


The Reverend Mpho A. Tutu, an Episcopal priest, is the founder and Executive Director of the Tutu Institute for Prayer & Pilgrimage. Ms. Tutu has run ministries for children in the downtown Worcester, Massachusetts; for rape survivors in Grahamstown, SA; and for refugees from South Africa and Namibia at the Phelps Stokes Fund in New York City. She earned her MDiv from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts and began her ordained ministry at Historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Ms. Tutu is married to Joseph Burris; they have two daughters, Nyaniso and Onalenna.

Bio Source: The Tutu Institute for Prayer & Pilgrimage Official Website
Fig¹. Photo by Adrianna Van Groningen on Unsplash  Fig². Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash