Tag Archives: Values

The Classic Pamela Positive: “A Selfless Person Is More Concerned About the Happiness of Another…”


“A selfless person is one who is more concerned about the happiness and well-being of another than about his or her own convenience or comfort, one who is willing to serve another when it is neither sought for nor appreciated, or one who is willing to serve even those whom he or she dislikes. A selfless person displays a willingness to sacrifice, a willingness to purge from his or her mind and heart personal wants, and needs, and feelings. Instead of reaching for and requiring praise and recognition for himself, or gratification of his or her own wants, the selfless person will meet these very human needs for others. ”

–H. Burke Peterson


H. Burke Peterson is an authority in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the author of “A Glimpse of Glory”.  In World War II, he fought with the American Navy in the Pacific theatre.  He has been married to Brookie Carden since 1947, and they have five daughters.

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


“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


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.

Pamela’s Weekly Words of Wisdom: “Shame on You, Aunt Pamela, That’s a TREE”

birch-588926_640A few years ago, my niece Lindsey gave me a great talking to. She was 5 or 6, and needed help in the restroom, so off we went. As we finished up, I pulled two paper towels to dry my hands.

“Shame on you, Aunt Pamela. That’s a tree! We can’t hurt the trees!”

I asked her where she learned that important lesson.

“In school. They teach us paper comes from trees, and we need to keep our trees.” Continue reading

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece.” – John Wooden

woman-591576_1280“Make each day your masterpiece.” — John Wooden

Unmatched. That’s what Coach John Wooden is asking us to be.

To live a life unmatched each day — which is a masterpiece — means living according to your values.

When I usually think about a gargantuan goal, I think of something more along the lines of an Olympian. Yet it doesn’t always mean running (or winning) a marathon.

It is being your own masterpiece. That means today, you live with kindness in all the minute interactions you might have. It’s not just about doing your best, yet also treating others your best.  You, your being and presence, are the kind masterpiece that positively affects the world.

From living your masterpiece as an individual, and on this basis of values — only then can you paint another masterpiece. Pick a passion… be it gardening, being an excellent bookkeeper, being elected to office, writing a short story, exploring the best hikes and appreciating nature… And step by step, create excellence. Get inducted into your own hall of fame.

But remember, the greatest hall of fame is… treating others your best.

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball coach. He was a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (inducted in 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach.  He was married to Nellie Riley for 53 years, and they had two children.  After Nellie’s death, John had a monthly ritual until his own death 25 years later, of visiting her grave and writing her a love letter.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Philanthropy – Start Loving Others Now

Priority- After school program for kids in Nicaragua - cropped

While it is commonly accepted, I’m not sure I agree that philanthropy means giving away ‘money.’

Instead, philanthropy is the love of humanity, of people.

And what I cherish about this definition is that it is accessible to anyone, at any time.

We can all be philanthropists.

Whether you are getting the drycleaning, having a conversation with your boss or coworker, or saying a kind hello to a homeless person, you are a philanthropist.

Philanthropy should be, and is, accessible to all.

I love that we can start loving others now!

*The Definition of Philanthropy, in Merriam-Webster: 1: goodwill to fellow members of the human race; especially : active effort to promote human welfare 2: an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes

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”