Tag Archives: Values

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make the Most of the Abilities We Have” – Jim Abbott

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“Never allow the circumstances of your life to become an excuse. People will allow you to do it. But I believe we have a personal obligation to make the most of the abilities we have.”
– Jim Abbott

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Jim Abbott is a former Major League baseball pitcher, who played despite having been born without a right hand. He played for teams including the California Angels, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. In 1993, Abbott threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians, and in 1988 pitched the final game to win the United States an unofficial gold medal in the Summer Olympics. Throughout his career, teams tried to exploit the fact that Abbott played with one hand, but their tactics were never effective. Today, Abbott works as a motivational speaker, living in California with his wife, two children and their dog. His parents still live in Michigan, where he grew up. Abbott and his family take the summer off each year to stay at the lake and visit with family and friends.

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The Pamela Positive: Dag Hammarskjold Gives Hope to the World

Dag Hammarskjold was such a wonderful model of what the U.N. can be and do.  As Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1953 to 1961, Hammarskjold was known for his unrelenting energy in striving to create fairness, harmony, peace and collaboration in many corners of our world.  He represented hope and reconciliation for so many.

Hammarskjold flew around the world to try to help so many countries needing support–and independent of whether there was an economic interest there, as it should be.  He acted as a force for the U.N., representing fair involvement for all countries: for example, during one Arab crisis in 1958, the U.S. and Britain sent troops to help Lebanon and Jordan. But Hammarskjold was able to get removal of these troops, and one-sided involvement in the crisis, to stop. He then brokered Egypt lifting its blockade of Syria (which would not join the Arab League.)

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In the 1950s he helped obtain the release of U.S. airmen held captive in China. In approaching the Suez Crisis, when Egypt nationalized the canal, Hammarskjold was able to broker French, British and Egyptian collaboration to keep it open.  Meanwhile, Israel attacked Egypt and the peace process was upset.  With Mr. Hammarskjold’s leadership, U.N. Forces were able to maintain a peaceful solution until a longer term solution was reached.  Laos faced extreme danger and he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection.  He became part of a very longterm process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa and striving to open up attitudes of equality and fairness regarding race.

Hammarskjold’s last challenge was the crisis in the Congo where violent civil war was ensuing. Here he had brokered leaders to  meet in neutral territory to resolve the conflict.   Unfortunately, his plane was shot down and he did not survive.

Dag Hammarskjold was mourned by the world. He was seen as an extremely strong leader led by principles; absolutely tireless and needing little sleep. It was as if he were “on call” for the world.

“The world in which I grew up in was dominated by principles and ideals…I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country or humanity.  This sacrifice required a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions.”

Hammarskjold also created a meditation room or peace room in the U.N.  It is a place only for thoughts, no words, and embraces all types of prayers.  There is a stone in the middle of the room with nothing on it, and yet a shaft of light shines directly there. It is dedicated as an altar to harmony and freedom that is worshipped in many forms, by different countries and peoples, in many varied ways all over the world.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Ignorance of Certain Subjects Is a Great Part of Wisdom.”

“Ignorance of certain subjects is a great part of wisdom.” –Hugo de Groot

Ignorance is Good.

Ignorance of gossip. Ignorance of unnecessary negative thoughts. Ignorance of self-doubting thoughts, and ignorance of unhelpful suggestions which come to our thoughts. A lot of these thoughts are just not true…. and don’t find yourself accepting them as part of your normal experience.

We all go through a tough day. Yet we need to defend our thoughts, and therefore our life. Our life is based upon our thought. What you think will come through to fruition… It does not mean we ignore life lessons, a candid talk with ourselves; and at times, gently with others; it does not mean everything is perfect.

But in general, we pursue being, doing and recognizing good.

Hugo de Groot (1583-1645), also called Hugo Grotius, was a philosopher and a theologian, and worked as a jurist in the Dutch Republic.  He was extremely influential in the creation of international law.  He wrote a number of books, including On the Law of War and Peace, addressing subjects such as just wars and rules to govern conflict.  His overall purpose was to urge restraint in rushing to war, and to urge reasonable conduct once war was engaged.

The Pamela Positive: Undertake Something So Great You Cannot Accomplish It Unaided

Phillips Brooks, an educator and spiritual leader, advised us to push ourselves into the unknown for a special reason: To become spiritual.

Well, you might ask, “Why is being spiritual so important? I simply want to create a great company, write a book, or scale Mount Kilimanjaro.”

The qualities it takes to do any of the above, and anything miraculous, cannot be seen. They are:

Perseverance: Don’t ever think of giving up…
Thoughtfulness: Care in building a team…
Inspirational: Being able to paint your vision in a way that excites others and compels them to take action…

You must have these qualities to build successful relationships and enduring companies.  Yet all of these are qualities which are not required in school, home or job.  And yet they are the invisible glue which will allow you “…to undertake something so great you cannot accomplish it unaided.”
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They are not material or physical. They are spiritual.

“We never become truly spiritual by sitting and wishing to become so. You must undertake something so great that you cannot accomplish it unaided.”  – Phillips Brooks

Phillips Brooks was an American clergyman in the Episcopal church during the 19th century.  He published several books of lectures and sermons, as well as authoring the popular Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”  He was highly regarded as a preacher and a patriot.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Happiness: “Spending Time with People You Love and Who Love You”

“It is only a slight exaggeration to say that happiness is the experience of spending time with people you love and who love you.” –Daniel Kahneman, nobel laureate

Gifts and giving.  We associate so much of that with happiness.  Yet our one true Happiness is Loving Others. Oh, that sweet presence to just be around those we cherish and feel at home with!

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and Nobel laureate.  He is known for his work in the psychology of decision-making.  He was born in Tel Aviv, spent his childhood in France, and moved to Israel in the late 1940s.  He studied psychology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and began his career as a lecturer there.  Kahneman has published extensively in psychology, and received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2002 for his work on prospect theory.  He is currently on the faculty at Princeton.

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

In this 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.”

As Cindy Crawford says, “Never point out your flaws but do admit to your mistakes.”

What a powerful distinction.  Cindy is an accomplished wife, mother, businesswoman, spokesperson and model.  She’s demonstrated beauty in so many ways, specifically through her acumen, well-spoken manner, desire to make a beautiful life and home accessible to everyone, and most importantly, knowing that true, lasting beauty starts and comes from within.

Beauty is about trusting yourself, appreciating your unique qualities, just as we should for other people. It’s one of our greatest age old wisdoms, to love your neighbor as yourself.  And to love our neighbor as ourselves, we have to start with, yes, you and me.

So, as Cindy advises, don’t point out areas of yourself that are weak. You might be working on those, and we all have areas of improvement. Do demonstrate your positive qualities of intellect, kindness, graciousness, honesty, selflessness. We recognize and celebrate these abundantly.

There will be a time, many times, when we all need to own up to mistakes or ways we can be better. Then we, with rapid fire, should admit our mistakes and, where necessary, apologize. Part of our beauty is cultivating caring, honest, open relationships where we admit where we could have been better. With this admittance comes strength and a more beautifully enduring relationship with others – and ourselves.

Truth is beauty. We start with the Truth of what is good about us and others. We stay with that until we find a time where we need to admit where we fell down. And we avoid simply putting others, or ourselves, down at all.

Stick with the Beauty of loving yourself and others.

Cindy Crawford was a popular supermodel of the ’80s and ’90s.  She has also been involved in fitness campaigns, and appeared in TV and movies.  Since retiring from modeling in 2000, she has been working in beauty products and a home furnishings line.  Her younger brother, Jeff, died of leukemia when Cindy was ten, and childhood leukemia has been a major focus of her charity work. 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Do It Anyway

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

This poem is widely attributed to Mother Teresa, after it was found hanging on a wall in her home for children in Calcutta.  It is a revised version of “The Paradoxical Commandments,” written by Dr. Kent M. Keith.  You can read more about the story on our UniversalGiving blog, PhilanthroPost.