Tag Archives: Values

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 given to fairness, peace and collaboration. He represented hope and reconciliation throughout many corners of our world.

Hammarskjold supported countries whether or not there was an economic interest, as it should be.  Equitable involvement for all countries was his philosophy.

For example in 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.

In endangered Laos, he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection.  He also became part of a very long-term process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa, opening 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 meeting 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; 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 Pamela Positive: Allen and Violet Give It All Away


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.


From People Magazine’s “Heroes Among Us”

The Classic 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 given to fairness, peace and collaboration. He represented hope and reconciliation throughout many corners of our world. Continue reading

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Before You Can Give Yourself Away, You Must Have a Self to Give.”


“Before you can give yourself away, you must have a self to give.”

– Isabel Hickey

Similar to George Gurdjieff’s commitment to self and spirit before serving others, Isabel Hickey realized that we must put ourselves first. In so doing, we become strong and committed to giving ourselves the best, and then we can give our best selves unto others…


Isabel Hickey was an American astrologer and writer who practiced Humanist Astrology with a psychological approach. She is considered the Mother of Astrology in the Sixties and Seventies. She wrote “Astrology, A Cosmic Science,” “It Is All Right” and “Minerva or Pluto, The Choice Is Yours.”

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.


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 Pamela Pensive: “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 thought.  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.