Tag Archives: relationships

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

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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 Classic Pamela Positive: Celebrate True Wealth

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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.

The Good Trade: How to Give Back When You’re Short on Cash Part I

In August, The Good Trade, a website that promotes brands, items, and ideas dedicated to social good, published our article about how to give when you’re strapped for cash.
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Giving Back Doesn’t Have To Involve Money

The global economy is a rollercoaster. China’s growth rate goes down 6%, Brexit occurs and global warming is at its worst with record breaking global temperatures. The world feels as if it is in turmoil. On top of that you’re worried about job security or paying back student loans, and charitable giving seems like a secondary priority. Don’t lose heart. Giving back and making a difference doesn’t have to break the bank.  Here are some low cost and meaningful ways to give.

 

1. CULTIVATE AN ATTITUDE OF ABUNDANCE

First, let’s start with our minds. Be courageous and realize that you have more than you think. If you have a bed, shelter, clothing, a job, and family or friends, then you are in a very “wealthy” state. Understanding your own abundance will allow you to see how much you actually have. 

Go over the positives in your life. Write down heartfelt quotes that inspire you. As you fill yourself up with this goodness, you will be able to give to others. This gratitude will not only make us feel happier, but also keep our hearts healthier.

2. PICK UP THE PHONE 

Instead of being constantly worried about where our world is going, why not pick up the phone and find out how someone else is doing? Forget your concerns for a moment. Instead of calling someone to vent, why not call them to tell them you care?

Calling someone “for no reason” is an important opportunity show them that you are thinking of them. You are taking time out of your busy day to reach out. Everyone needs someone to just listen sometimes. They may be filled with joy or sadness. Be there to celebrate their good news, or support them with compassion.

A side benefit to you is that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends and their community are happier, have fewer health problems and live longer. Remember, listening does not cost anything financially, and look at the good you are doing!

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Stay tuned this Friday to see other ways to give when your wallet is slim!

Can’t wait until Friday? Click here for the full article!

The Pamela Positive: What We Have In Common

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You, me, the night building manager, the cleaners and homeless people all have something in common: We need to be nourished.

The other night, I was helping lead a Full Circle Fund meeting, which is working to provide economic opportunities for people across our world.  It’s a wonderful group, focused on providing financial support and volunteer time to help serve the community.

That evening, we had leftover sandwiches from dinner.  While I usually take any leftovers from the meetings I attend to homeless people, I thought perhaps I would give myself a rest from it this evening.  It was a huge tray I would have to balance, carrying my many bags as well. Yet something made me gather up the sandwiches, and hope there would be someone who would appreciate them.

When I approached the night building manager downstairs, he was a bit hesitant at first… but after positive encouragement he took two and with much gratitude. Two of the cleaners said no, hesitantly… but when I spoke to them in Spanish, they took two to three sandwiches each! As I then turned outside, a lovely man cleaning the outdoor tiles in the rain lifted up his hood, smiled widely, and took two.

I passed an elderly homeless man in a wheelchair underneath the cover of a prominent office building, who reached out to take two sandwiches as well.   As I walked down the street, a gentle, petite Asian man, with bags and bags of recycling beside him, was persistently searching through the refuse to find more cans.  He was so slight of frame and with a smile that beamed. He took the entire rest of the tray.

Within five minutes, 15 sandwiches were given. And my heart was given to as well, filled by being able to help other people in one small way.

Make the effort to give, of whatever we may have.  For we all need to be nourished.

The Human Touch by Spencer Michael Free ~ Don’t Get So Busy On Your Phone You Forget to Truly Connect!

 

A photo by Jonathan Velasquez. unsplash.com/photos/4mta-DkJUAgThis simple poem reminds us that genuine friendship is about the closeness of hands, hearts, and souls. It also, incidentally, captures the profundity of “touch” between Helen Keller, who was blind, deaf and barely speaking, and her mentor Anne Mansfield Sullivan.

 

“Tis the human touch in this world that counts,

The touch of your hand and mine,

Which means far more to the fainting heart

Than shelter and bread and wine;

For shelter is gone when the night is o’er,

And bread lasts only a day,

But the touch of the hand and the sound of the voice

Sing on in the soul alway.”

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Please put your cellphone down right now, and touch or help someone who needs it.  That’s where the true connection in life is!

 

Spencer Michael Free was a poet who graduated from the College of Physicians and Suregons at John Hopkins University in 1880. Later, he went on to practice medicine and surgery. He taught natural philosophy, chemistry, Latin and algebra at Ohio Wesleyan University. In addition, Free had a passion for the arts and letters which led to his writing hundreds of medical papers as well as poems.He tried several times to enlist in the army and wished to protect our country abroad. However, he never did, so instead he wrote and aimed to give his readers a sense of hope.

The Human Touch was written shortly after World War I and the poem urges a sense of love and humanity. Free also published Shawnee Cabin and Other Poems. While he was not healing people of their physical ailments, he worked for various charitable organizations throughout his life.

“I thought about what is the happy.” ~Jae-Young Kim, UniversalGiving Intern

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We are so fortunate at UniversalGiving to have a lovely team of interns every day. They are from all over the world.  What a team we have!

 

This is from Jae-Young Kim, a wonderful intern who had this to say in his writing sample:

 

“Hi Pamela, here is my part of free writing that you wanted.

 

I thought about what is the happy and how we are happy. Even though they said that you are a volunteer and that does it, I don’t think about that. Because she and me both give happy feelings to each other. After this happened,  I realized that helping people is such happy work.  That’s the happy.  That’s why I found the NGO companies and Universalgiving was the best company that I found. I really respected that your company gives donations directly and helps not only people but also animals.”

 

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Jae-Young Kim is from San Francisco, California. He attended Pukyong National University in South Korea. When he was on our team, he was an executive assistant intern.

The Importance of A Conversation

It’s just a conversation.

You’re just chatting.

You’re at a sports event and you’re catching up, in line at the grocery store, after church, or at your child’s gymnastic event. It’s talk. It’s casual, it’s no big deal.

Or is it?

Each conversation can be a treasure–or a dumpster. What you say can uplift someone, or it can drag them down.

Your tone can affect them. If you’re down they might feel it. They might go home to dinner, and focus on a low mood rather than the great presentation they had that day.

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If you’re positive, you’ll lead them to a more peaceful state of mind. If your topics are about joy, they’ll likely be more joyous. It’s that simple.

How you affect them affects how they treat the next person they encounter. Every conversation is part of a chain for good, stress, joy, or negativity.

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Are you stressed? It wont draw more people on to you. Are you positive? Then you can be grateful for the wonderful partnership you have, and expand it.

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It’s not just chatter. Every conversation leads to something. Make it for good! 

Sincerely,

Pamela