Tag Archives: service

“What the World Needs Is People Who Have Come Alive” – Howard Thurman

children-479692_640“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

This is very true. Continue reading


The Pamela Positive: “If You Can’t Feed a Hundred People…” – Mother Teresa

“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” – Mother Teresa

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), best known as Mother Teresa, was a Catholic nun known for her work caring for the poorest of the poor in the slums of India.  She was born in Albania, and joined the Sisters of Loreto as a missionary at the age of 18.  She became a nun in 1937, while teaching at a religious school in Calcutta.  She began her work with the poor in Calcutta in 1948.  In 1950, she founded the Missionaries of Charity, which presently has 4,500 sisters and is active in more than 100 countries.  Mother Teresa came to international attention with the 1969 documentary, Something Beautiful for God.  In 1979, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her inspiring work with the poor.

The Pamela Positive: “Make a Gift of One’s Life”

“One makes a gift of one’s life and endeavors by sanctifying it with love, and devotion and selfless service. When seeking to uplift others, we are uplifted in the process. Every kind thought or smile therefore benefits oneself as well as all the world.” –David Hawkins

Dr. David Hawkins is a psychiatrist and spiritual teacher, and the author of a number of books about spirituality and consciousness.

The Pamela Positive: Audrey Hepburn’s Tips for Beauty…It’s All Inside ~ New Audio Version Available!

We are pleased to announce that this post is now accompanied with an audio version! Happy listening!

I love these beauty tips by Audrey Hepburn because they are accessible to us all.  How could Beauty be constrained?  We don’t have to wait for it, prepare for it or create it.  So much of beauty is how we are, each moment. I look forward to hearing about your beautiful moments today!

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms. As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.

“Serve Others.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

“Serve others. The unfailing recipe for happiness and success is to want the good of others. Happiness and success is when I see others happy. Happiness is a shared thing.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu


Could you


Smile at someone you don’t know


Help someone across the street


Cut the lawn for your parents


Walk the dog for your neighbor


Give an extra tip at the restaurant?




Any of these ways are ways to serve. Any of us can do them! And did you know that serving others can:


Reduce Stress?
Combat Depression?
Keep you Mentally Stimulated?
Provide a Sense of Purpose?


It helps them, and it helps you!


Really, what we are talking about is sending love. Serve, love and everyone benefits. So I am sending you love on this precious day. Now, get out there and serve or love someone else.



Desmond Mpilo Tutu (born 7 October 1931) is a South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid. He was the first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa).

Tutu’s admirers see him as a great man who, since the demise of apartheid, has been active in the defense of human rights and uses his high profile to campaign for the oppressed. He has campaigned to fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, poverty, racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986, the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987, the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999,  the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007,  and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. He has also compiled several books of his speeches and sayings.

Early On In Inner City: Keep on Loving, Keep on Believing

inner city post

Very early on in my inner city work, I was a volunteer buddy for a person in the projects.

It was East Palo Alto. My buddy was a 22 year old woman. She had five children from five different men. They lived in a two-bedroom apartment in a complex with wire grates on every window.

At the time I was 16. Fairly nascent in my volunteer work, I was eager to jump in and help. I was still shocked by all the poverty, only 2.1 miles away from my home. The word “UNACCEPTABLE”  was spelled foremost in my mind. It’s what drove me everyday.


We would meet to discuss life. To just spend time together. This time, I had made an effort to bring her a casserole that I had made for her family. We had agreed to the time. I figured as a busy mom that she would really appreciate the meal. I was now here and knocking on the door.


I knocked.


I waited.


I knocked again…. again.

The casserole rested warmly in my hands, as I shifted its weight to knock.


This time, I knocked a little bit louder. “Gloria”? I asked.


I waited a little bit more.

It was 6 p.m., and awfully silent around the projects. There was some blaring music coming from a far-end apartment. Then it would stop, silent…it was a bit eery. I wondered… were people sleeping? Working?

I waited some more.


I knocked again and called her name. I waited.


I knocked again and said, “Gloria, this is Pamela. I have our dinner… would you be able to open up?”


The response was silence. I left the lukewarm casserole on the doorstep, hoping that it would be received and walked away to my car.

I didn’t hear form her.

Every day I tried to call her.



Weeks later I heard from her. On this phone call, I learned a lot:

“Gloria, how are you? I stopped by for the dinner the other day as we agreed but you weren’t there?”

“No, I was there.”

“You were there?”


“Gloria, what happened? We decided that I was going to drop off dinner… I was excited to have that there for you.” There was silence.

“I didn’t feel like it,” said Gloria.

“I just didn’t want to open the door.”


Gloria taught me a lot that day.

When you are a volunteer, one of the most important things to do is to not to force a situation.

You are not there to make happen what you think should happen.

You are there to serve.

This is service in an entirely different way. Service does not always mean accomplishment of the task. Some of us Americans are very “doer-oriented.” We want to accomplish. That’s what our founding fathers based our society on: We had to conquer the West. We had to be very resilient and resourceful. In many ways, we still are.


With that resourcefulness comes a strong will. That will sometimes prevents us from listening to others or listening to the situation.

As a volunteer, you think, I am supposed to serve the meal. But we don’t know what was going on in Gloria’s mind. She was a mom, twenty years old, with five children. Her jobs went in and out — as did her family.  I can’t imagine how overwhelmed she must have been.

As volunteers we need not to focus “on our side of the story.” “I am doing a good thing. I made all this effort to make a meal. Why wasn’t she there?”

All those thoughts are wrong.

The thought we must have as volunteers everyday is:

“I am here to serve in a way that makes my buddy the most comfortable, with a sense of kindness, listening and love.”  

That does not always mean that you get to complete the delivery of a meal. That does not mean that you get to finish building the house, constructing the well or cleaning up the river.

Sometimes it means being present with someone. Sometimes it means making 6 phone calls before you get in touch with someone. Sometimes it means backing off and giving them space. Sometimes it means showing up on the doorstep with warm casserole, knocking, never hearing a response, and not knowing if they ever ate it. You leave your agenda behind.

To be a volunteer is precious. You listen, you serve, you focus on being present. You love, and don’t judge.

No matter what happens when you serve, you Keep on Loving and you Keep on Believing.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “If You Can’t Feed a Hundred People…” – Mother Teresa

children-306610_640“If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.” – Mother Teresa Continue reading