Tag Archives: relationships

The Classic Pamela Positive: “A Selfless Person Is More Concerned About the Happiness of Another…”

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“A selfless person is one who is more concerned about the happiness and well-being of another than about his or her own convenience or comfort, one who is willing to serve another when it is neither sought for nor appreciated, or one who is willing to serve even those whom he or she dislikes. A selfless person displays a willingness to sacrifice, a willingness to purge from his or her mind and heart personal wants, and needs, and feelings. Instead of reaching for and requiring praise and recognition for himself, or gratification of his or her own wants, the selfless person will meet these very human needs for others. ”

–H. Burke Peterson

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H. Burke Peterson is an authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the author of “A Glimpse of Glory”.  In World War II, he fought with the American Navy in the Pacific theatre.  He has been married to Brookie Carden since 1947, and they have five daughters.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”

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“Love Many, Trust a Few, And Always Paddle Your Own Canoe”
–Terri, from Coudersport, PA, as seen on Dark Chocolate Dove Wrapper

Terri has it right. What a joy to enjoy dark chocolate, which I love, with a truly inspired quote.

Life affords us so many ways to love, and how important we keep doing so. At the same time, we have to be careful, and so Trust, or entrusting ourselves to others, perhaps must be a bit more rare.  I wish it weren’t so… however, everyone is on their pathway of personal growth. So we must honor them, honor ourselves: We should always love, but not necessarily entrust to others.

As far as paddling one’s own canoe. As my Oma says, “You’d better put a little elbow grease into that.” She was always ensuring she had pulled her weight. In fact, when I went over to Oma’s for a sleepover as a young child, even at the age of 8 or 9, our fun together — was working together. We scrubbed the kitchen floor on hands and knees, sharpened pencils, and wrote up a list for the freezer so she knew what was in there. She taught me to care about being clean, ordered and organized, which made her home special. She made it fun. I loved working with my Oma.

Terri, we thank you for a quote which has delighted us all!

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy – Start Loving Others Now

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While it is commonly accepted, I’m not sure I agree that philanthropy means giving away ‘money.’

Instead, philanthropy is the love of humanity, of people.

And what I cherish about this definition is that it is accessible to anyone, at any time.

We can all be philanthropists.

Whether you are getting the drycleaning, having a conversation with your boss or coworker, or saying a kind hello to a homeless person, you are a philanthropist.

Philanthropy should be, and is, accessible to all.

I love that we can start loving others now!


*The Definition of Philanthropy, in Merriam-Webster: 1: goodwill to fellow members of the human race; especially : active effort to promote human welfare 2: an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes

The Pamela Positive: Allen and Violet Give It All Away

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Allen and Violet Large have given it all away. The Nova Scotian residents had called to check on their regularly-bought lottery ticket, when they realized they had won 11.2 million. They didn’t even know what to do.

But as their name indicates, the Larges have a wonderfully big heart. Within four months… they gave it all away. Gifts went to local hospitals, to fire stations, to more than 60 organizations.

One of my favorite quotes from Violet was, “We’re not used to that kind of money… we wanted to share it with people who treat us well. Money can’t buy happiness.”

“We have everything we need; I have Allen and he has me.”

May we all live with such Large hearts.

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From People Magazine’s “Heroes Among Us”

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Look Deeply and Recognize the Real Enemy” – Thich Nhat Hanh

“If I can say anything to you, it is to invite you to look deeply and recognize the real enemy. The enemy is not a person. That enemy is a way of thinking that has brought a lot of suffering for everyone.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Anything negative — is not from a person.

Radical thinking?  It shouldn’t be.   If we view the enemy as simply a thought and not a person, we depersonalize it.   It’s temporary, changeable.   And we allow the person to grow beyond it, rather than be it.

We can then eliminate personal offense, and work constructively towards a solution.

Look at the Why

If something seems to be negative, we can encourage ourselves to look at “the why.” Why might someone think, or take action, in this way?   This offers us an opportunity to develop empathy. Perhaps this person—let’s call her Jeanine—came from a difficult circumstance or has been hurt.

It’s not Jeanine who is “bad,” but the experiences which occurred in her life which impacted her.  It’s those events that led to the thinking and action behind negativity.

So Jeanine’s identity is not “Prejudice”, “Anger” or “Hurt”:

It’s instead:

The most beautiful thing about this is the following.

She can change.

Allow her to do so.  Wouldn’t we all wish to be forgiven for a past action?

Happy PeopleEvery day we can begin again.   We can embrace a fresh purity for each person in our lives, allowing us and others to lives to our fullest – with Love.

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Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist monk and Zen master.  He is a well-known poet, writer and peace activist.  A native of Vietnam, during the Vietnam War he helped found the “engaged Buddhism” movement, combining the contemplative practice of the monastery with active ministry to victims of the conflict.  He founded the School of Youth Social Service, a Buddhist University, a publishing house, and a Vietnamese peace activist magazine.

During a trip to the United States, Thich Nhat Hanh persuaded Martin Luther King, Jr. to publicly oppose the Vietnam War; King subsequently nominated him for a Nobel Peace Prize.  Thich Nhat Hanh led the Buddhist delegation to the Paris Peace Talks.

Thich Nhat Hanh is the author of more than 85 books on mindfulness and peace.  He founded the Plum Village community in France, a Buddhist community in exile.   He continues to live and work at the Plum Village, and leads retreats worldwide on “the art of mindful living.”

The Classic Pamela Positive: Sticking with the Beauty of Loving Yourself and Others

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A recent article by fellow Fast Company blogger, Alicia Morga, advised: “Adopt the Cindy Crawford motto: no flaws…stick with the beauty of loving yourself and others.”

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The Classic Pamela Positive: Communicate with More Than Words


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It is so amazing to me that when we communicate, the words really ‘come in third place.’

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