Tag Archives: Values

“I stay close to Love all day”

“I stay close to God’s will (Love) all day”

– My Mom

Sometimes our mother’s advice is the simplest and best. You can’t miss with this in all that we do. Just stay close to God (Love).

So what is God? And what if you don’t know what He or She is?  Or maybe even don’t know what you believe.

For you, that might mean, a larger power, a loving thought, a kind word or a presence of grace.  But how does it help? Oh, it does!  If you stay close to this Love, then you’ll know where to go, how to act, who to talk to… From the tiniest thought to the largest decision. It all counts.
So whatever inspires you to see a grand view of life, let it lead you today.  Stay close to that Love.
Thank you, Mom.
pamela and mom

Bio of Alexandra Hawley:

Alexandra Hawley, flute 

Avedis Artistic Director

Alexandra Hawley was born in New York, daughter of Alexander Williams, principal clarinetist with the N. B. C. Orchestra under Arturo Toscanini, and Frances Blaisdell, the first woman wind player admitted to both the Juilliard School of Music and to the New York Philharmonic.  Mrs. Hawley studied with Murray Panitz of the Philadelphia Orchestra, with Lloyd Gowen at Stanford and with Jean-Pierre Rampal in France.  After completing her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Stanford University, she lived in Europe for several years, performing in recital and on radio.  Hailed by The New York Times for her “extraordinary range of tone and color” and her “spontaneous, perceptive musical sensitivity,” Alexandra Hawley made her professional debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam followed by her New York debut in Carnegie Recital Hall.  Since then she has performed throughout the United States as a soloist and in chamber music ensembles.

Mrs. Hawley was a member of the National Flute Association delegation to the Soviet Union in 1989 and has been invited to perform at the National Flute Conventions in Boston, Los Angeles, San Diego, Kansas City and Las Vegas.  She has recorded for the Naxos and Cambria labels, including Robert Muczynski’s complete works for flute with the composer at the piano, with members of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet, and with guest artist Jean-Pierre Rampal.  Mrs. Hawley is the founder and artistic director of the Avedis Chamber Music series in San Francisco.  She is a member of the music department faculty at Stanford University and a founding member of the Stanford Woodwind Quintet.

My mom is also my devoted mom, a lovely wife, and an excellent “Grammy.”

Corporate Volunteering: Get the Community to See Beyond your Company’s Name

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Volunteering as a Positive Return for All

Volunteering is such an important part of our culture, since the inception of our country. It’s in our blood to help, and a natural fit. And yet in order for it to be a win-win situation for everyone, we must think practically about how to make volunteering effective. In this way, nonprofits, corporations, and the corporate employees are inspired to not only start but also continue volunteering.

For each group, there are specific points to keep in mind. The following tips are insights I have gathered in leading (as founder and CEO) the nonprofit UniversalGiving, where we work with Fortune 500 companies on their Corporate Social Responsibility programs, both domestically and abroad.

We’ll start with the benefits of employee volunteering to the companies. Volunteering is a key part of any CSR program. First, it’s the most cost-effective. Your goal is simply to incentivize your employees to get involved as individuals. This is much cheaper than providing matching grants or company donations. In fact, about 46% of companies in Silicon Valley even provide time off for their employees to volunteer.1

To take it to the next level, you can also organize corporate team volunteer events. These events can be some of the highest forms of team building, and, cross-business unit collaboration. So if you are a CSR professional seeking an inexpensive, high leverage way to bolster a positive culture and team-building, this is the option for you. It’s interesting to note that 40% of Silicon Valley companies have 1-4 corporate sponsored events per year; and, even more impressive, 46% of companies hold 10 or more events per year.2

Additional benefits follow to the company. It helps them enhance their corporate brand image; the community sees your company’s presence in a positive light, and in numerous different situations.  Having a meaningful volunteer program in place also improves the recruitment process for new employees: They know your company cares by officially supporting this program as part of the culture. Most likely some new recruits have even met some of your current employees while volunteering themselves. An important plus is that it keeps employees with you; retention rates rise.

A final note for companies is local buy-in. It’s important that local communities see beyond the company’s office buildings, its logo and it marketing. Company employees volunteering in the community lends a new light of visibility to companies. One that instills a sense of trust and engagement. It highlights your company’s presence. All of these warm factors help a company’s bottom line while also serving the community.

One of the toughest issues companies face in implementing a top-quality CSR strategy, and volunteer program, is with which NGO Partners they decide to partner. Establishing and maintaining these partnerships should be made with care, and for the long term. You can read more about how Fortune 500 companies can protect themselves and their brand as they expand their international giving and volunteer programs worldwide in my blog post: “Top 4 International Insights for Fortune 500 Companies.” 

Employees, just like the companies they work for, must also be diligent about choosing the right nonprofit with which to work. In order to maximize the return on their volunteer experience, employees should look for a nonprofit whose mission addresses the issues about which they are most passionate.

In addition, employees also need to look at the governance and type of organization. They need to make sure the leadership and organizational structure of that nonprofit are a good fit. Is the vision clearly articulated and followed? Is the leadership compelling and trustworthy? Is the specific opportunity allowing them to make the biggest impact using their current skills while also providing them the opportunity to learn new skills? I recently wrote an article for TILE Financial’s Spend Grow Give program, and although it is directed at volunteers in their teens, it is nonetheless an excellent resource for volunteers of any age.

Nonprofits, in turn, can benefit most from corporate volunteers by establishing clear roles and communications with them. Nonprofits need to craft individual volunteer positions that serve both their goals and the company’s interests. Nonprofits can also do due diligence on a particular employee to find out how he or she might want to grow and contribute. Then determine how it can fit with the nonprofit’s mission and vision. Does it help with a specific program, outreach services, marketing, operations, accounting? Be sure you are specific about the value to you.

As in the corporate world, “a return” on your volunteering and time spent should be achieved for everyone. Individuals should feel they are growing and contributing significantly and with defined impact. Companies and their employees should feel their skills are being leveraged while reinforcing a strong culture and brand. And nonprofits should ensure their organization’s assets, in this case, its volunteers, are purposefully engaged. With this type of thoughtful planning, volunteering is a positive win for all.

1, 2: 2010 Corporate Citizenship in Silicon Valley

I just helped him cry

 From a four-year-old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife.
 
Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there.

 

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, the little boy said,
‘Nothing , I just helped him cry’
sadsad

 

Sometimes, we just need to listen to people and help them through their hurt. Who can you help today? Let’s slow down and listen to the needs of people in our lives.

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Make Criticism Yield to You

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“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.”
–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

No matter how hard it is, we have to face challenging feedback and take some step of action. It’s not easy… but the more we do it, the more we become accustomed to it. To being honest with ourselves… and to overcoming the challenge. We grow, we excel, and we move on, up and over it.   With that honesty, as Goethe states, the criticism “will gradually yield to him.”

 —✶—

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German poet, playwright, novelist, and natural philosopher, best known for his two-part poetic drama Faust, which he started around the age of twenty-three and didn’t finish till shortly before his death sixty years later. He is considered one of the greatest contributors of the German Romantic period. At the age of sixteen, in 1765, Goethe went to Leipzig University to study law as his father wished, though he also gained much recognition from the Rococo poems and lyric he wrote during this period. In 1766 he fell in love with Anne Catharina Schoenkopf (1746-1810) and wrote his joyfully exuberant collection of poems Annette.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe now rests in the Fürstengruft or “Royal Tomb” in the “Historic Cemetery” in Wiemar where his dear friend Schiller is also laid to rest. In honour of these two famous German men of letters, a statue of Goethe and Schiller now stands at the German National Theatre in Munich. UNESCO’S “Memory of the World” list includes the handwritten works of Goethe preserved by the Goethe-Schiller-Archive.

Bio Source: The Literature Network

The Classic Pamela Positive: Wisdom from Sissy Spacek on Why You Are Here

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“You are here to make the world a better place because you’ve lived.”
– Sissy Spacek

—✶—

Sissy Spacek is an American actress and singer. Her breakout role was as Carrie White in the horror film “Carrie”, for which she earned her first Academy Award nomination. Sissy was born in Texas, moving to New York after graduating from high school. She was greatly affected by the death of her eighteen-year old brother Robbie in 1967. In total, she has been nominated for an Oscar six times, and won for Best Actress in 1980 for her role as country star Loretta Lynn in “Coal Miner’s Daughter”. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011. Sissy is married to production designer and art director Jack Fisk, and has two daughters, Schuyler and Madison.

How Armenians Sprinkle Love, and Protect It – We Should Do the Same

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Continuing our theme on Armenian Culture, the Transfiguration features several active and protective gods.

“According to legend, the goddess Astghik spread love through the Armenian land by sprinkling rosy water and presenting roses. The god Vahagn kept and protected that love, constantly fighting against evil. This feast was performed after the adoption of Christianity.”

May we all think about how we can Sprinkle Roses and Refreshing Water, and Protect that Love in our daily lives.

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More Background:
The Transfiguration (Vardavar: The Feast of Water)
Religious Holiday
Observed on July 19

In the traditional Armenian range of holidays, the Transfiguration is the major summer holiday and is celebrated 14 weeks after Easter. In pre-Christian Armenia this holiday was associated with the pagan goddess Anahit, to whose heathen temple the young and the old went on pilgrimage. The word Vardavar has two meanings: “the flaming of the rose and “to sprinkle with water.  On Vardavar in modern times, everybody pours water on one another, starting in the early morning; no one is allowed to feel offended or displeased by mischief on that day.

Source: Armenia Information 

The New Luxury – Water

In many emerging nations, children are starving and dying due to lack of clean water.  As a “developed” nation, it certainly doesn’t seem that advanced for us to be getting water for free.   Meanwhile, two million people in the developing world are dying every year because they can’t access clean water.

Maybe we won’t have water fountains in the future.

It doesn’t make sense.   If there is a limited, precious resource, why should it flow freely to those who have the most access to it? And at the same time, be so costly to others who need it most?

I think we should have to buy our water, bottled or fountain.  It’s a cherished, expensive and rare commodity. Quite soon, and even by certain nations, water already is the new diamond.

The diamonds which are jewels are high end commodities, which are optional.  Yet water is not a “high-end commodity” that we can go without.

Our society is now realizing that the most prized and honored possessions in our world are things that we actually cannot possess…  Water is used, captured again, recycled in nature, and used again.  Unlike diamonds, it can’t fit in our jewelry box, where we take it out whenever we so desire.  Its beauty rests in its necessary part of our day to day.

Its beauty rests in the continuation of life.

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Let’s do all we can today to conserve water or donate to make water available for someone else.