Tag Archives: relationships

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.”





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?



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 from http://www.tutuinstitute.org)

The Classic Pamela Positive: “What’s Important to You Is Important to Me”


Pamela’s Favorite…Pamela Positive


“What’s Important To You Is Important To Me”






This is one of my favorite statements.  It helps me understand and sincerely care about others.  When we truly listen to our family, friends, partners, team mates, improv players, then we can really hear…what’s important.


Sometimes it might be a clean kitchen.  For others, it might be taking the dog for a walk or getting the car cleaned.  Or it might be that you showed up at your daughter’s gymnastics recital. And sometimes, sitting down and listening to your boyfriend, while not multitasking and cleaning the dishes at the same time, may be the biggest sign of attention. It can even be as small as keeping your desk clean at work because you know it inspires your manager.






The point is, we all fall into habits.  These habits are what are most comfortable, and convenient, for us.  They are our priorities. But they are not necessarily important to others.  Instead, we need to take a look at what motivates others.

So even if we can live with a messy desk, if we know the manager is inspired to see an ordered workspace, then we can try to rise to that new standard.  If it bothers our companion that we’re doing something else while he’s talking about a serious issue, then we need to stop and sit down, and give our undivided attention.  If it makes a difference to our mom that we check the stove one more time before we leave the kitchen, then we make her feel cared for, and can do it again.






These are the small and important ways that we can let someone know they are important to us.

It’s the Substance of what builds or breaks down any relationship.

Many of us have felt that overwhelmingly warm feeling when someone does something for us… It specifically hits our hearts.  “Ah…how grateful I am that they took out the recycling!  I love an ordered home…” It’s something that puts you at  peace. And that positive energy allows you to give more.






“What’s Important to You is Important to Me.”

What a beautiful way to live…

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


Yo-Yo Ma



Appreciate the gifts people offer you…and thank them by passing on their gift to others, whether through appreciation, gratitude, love, recognition, sincerity.  Life and music are about giving.




Yo-Yo Ma is one of the world’s most famous cellists, and has won multiple Grammy awards. Ma was born in Paris, though the family moved to New York when he was five. He comes from a musical family. His mother was a singer and his father was a violinist; his older sister is also a violinist. A child prodigy, Ma began playing the cello at age four, and performed for John F. Kennedy and Dwight Eisenhower at the age of seven. He attended Julliard at age nine, and went on to study at Harvard. He has performed with orchestras around the world, and has put out 75 albums. Ma currently plays with the Silk Road Ensemble; their goal is to bring together musicians from the countries which are historically linked by the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking southeast Asia through the Middle East to northern Africa and the Mediterranean coast of Europe.

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.




Fig. 1: Photo by Lee Myungseon on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Sai De Silva on Usnplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Ramdan Authentic on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make of Your Life an Affirmation”


“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.”

– Alexander Haig






Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan. He grew up as the middle child in a Catholic family in Pennsylvania. Haig would attend the University of Notre Dame for a couple years before finishing at West Point Academy. He would later also receive an MBA from Columbia Business School and a MA in International Relations from Georgetown University. A veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam War, Haig received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart. He was married Patricia Fox and they had three children together.


The Classic Pamela Positive: Deal with the Complete Person – Zig Ziglar

Man is tridimensional (physical, mental, and spiritual). I deal with the complete person. This is the only way to have complete success.”


Zig Ziglar





We can’t just deal with people from one viewpoint. We all have such important, varied qualities about us.  And that’s changing moment by moment and needs to be honored moment by moment. Who the person is holistically, when honored, brings the greatest benefit to your relationship, your environment, your work, your home.





In addition, Zig was known as one of the most positive, joyful people.   He wanted to celebrate people; celebrate them for who they are.   And so he also celebrated life for who he is: A positive family man;  a father and grandfather; a leader; a kind person; a doer of good; a prolific speaker; an engaging writer; and an encourager of others. That’s the holistic Zig Ziglar.    





Hilary Hinton “Zig” Ziglar was a motivational speaker, emphasizing Christian values and achieving success in all areas of life. He was the author of nine books, including See You at the Top and Raising Positive Kids in a Negative World. In 2001, Ziglar was awarded the Cavett Award by The National Speakers Association for bringing honor to the profession and showing commitment to mentoring other members. He passed away November 2012, after his 40-year speaking career that brought him to consult for Fortune 500 companies and leaders around the world. He was married to Jean Ziglar and they had four children and seven grandchildren.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “We Are Going To Get Through This”- Sheryl Sandberg


We are not going to say, “You are going to get through this”


We are going to get through this.”


“I learned the power of the word ‘we.’ Not saying to people, ‘You are going to get through this,’ but ‘We are going to get through this.’ That is such a different message, because it makes people feel less alone, and all of these forms of hardship, it’s not just the hardship itself but the isolation that comes with it. ‘We’ changes that.”


–       Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, author, activist


What a beautiful quote from Sheryl Sandberg, who knows that hardships can’t be faced by themselves.






People face tough events, such as Sheryl Sandberg, and losing her spouse and partner.  But other people face hardships in a different way.1 Did you know that more than 72% of the population is lonely? This is leading to an epidemic of people having psychological problems and breakdowns by not having the bonds of community, love, and feeling cherished.






All of us need to know that when we are facing a changing time, that we have someone by our side.


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There’s someone to hold our hand.


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You might be going through anxiety that makes your heart race and feel as if it’s going 20,000 beats per minute. Your husband might have just asked you for divorce. Your precious pet needs to get an operation. Or your son didn’t get into the elementary school that you’d hoped. Some of these may be major crises and some of these are “softer” crises, but they’re all things where we need a shoulder to shoulder approach.

Whose side can you stand by today?

Is there someone in your life who’s going through something that needs your help? Don’t let them go through it alone. Remember that we are going get through thisnot you are going to get through this.


Let’s do this together,






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Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer (COO) of Facebook and founder women’s empowerment organization Lean In Foundation. She was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida. She was an exceptional student in high school, graduating top ten of her class and then went on to Harvard College. She studied economics at Harvard and graduated summa cum laude. She also received the John H. Williams Prize for top graduating student in economics. She would later attend Harvard Business School as well. Before moving to Facebook, Sandberg was vice president of global online sales and operations at Google, where she would help launch Google’s philanthropy program. In 2009, she was named one of the 25 most influential people on the web byBusiness Week. On their list of top 100 most powerful women in the world, Forbes has listed her as ninth in 2014 and fourth in 2017. She is a widow and she has two children.



1 Lunardi, Stefano, “Feeling lonely? So are a lot of other people, survey finds”, CBS News, October 12, 2016, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/many-americans-are-lonely-survey-finds/
Fig. 1: Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash
Fig. 2: Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
Fig. 3: Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash
Fig. 4: Photo by Desiree Fawn on Unsplash
Fig. 5: Photo by Unknown on Forbes