Tag Archives: Values

Golden River vs. Green River in China

In the 90’s, China had a saying that their rivers were “rivers of gold”.  They were creating artificial dams and diverting water.  This provided water for the mass migration of citizens to the cities who used it for both agriculture and factory production. Water was the new gold.

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Yet, it’s interesting that the word “gold” has been replaced by the word “green”.  China now celebrates their “green”rivers.

Here’s why: many uprisings and riots from the local people started to take place. Routing water to different areas and artificial dams hurt the Earth and local communities, as well as disturbed agriculture production. It disrupted the effectiveness of the community and also its natural beauty. In addition, water sources were becoming more scarce.

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So, while gold is very elegant, green has a very loving, warm, nurturing, and nature-based meaning. Now China is realizing they have to “go green” rather than “go gold”.

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Keep and support  nature, and it will help your businesses, your villages, and your cities. Nature and your community won’t only survive but they will thrive.

Go green, not gold.

Bit by Bit, China is Stopping Deforestation

Sometimes a small bit of news is great news.

China has recovered about 1.6% of areas that had been deforested. In a country that was rapidly scaling towards mass destruction of our forests, this is progress.

As we know, trees help protect our planet. When we breathe out, we breathe carbon dioxide and the tress take it in from our bodies and from the atmosphere. They actually hold it within their trunks until they die, when the release it into the atmosphere again. So if you deforest, you are basically releasing carbon dioxide en masse. That is a large part of the reason why our earth is heating up.Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 1.43.21 PM.pngSome of you may shrug your shoulders, 1.6 percent? Why does that really matter?

When you’re dealing with a country that has 1 billion people, it certainly does matter. How can you control the habits and behaviors of such a large amount of people? The bottom line is it’s admirable to see progress.Screen Shot 2016-06-07 at 1.43.11 PM.png

Today you might have made one small positive step of progress in a challenge you’re facing.

Stop for a moment, please…

Celebrate it, and more progress will come.


Love, Pamela


The Pamela Positive: “Enjoy When You Can, and Endure When You Must”

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“Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must.”  –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Then, too, there are times to patiently persevere.  Not all is easy or peaceful; at times we must stay the course, step by step, like a diligent marathon runner, committed to her course, unrelenting until the finish line.  It might not be a quick race, but more a matter of a marathon.

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Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a German writer and artist, and a leading figure in German literature. His works include The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust.  He was highly influential to the 19th century.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “You Have to Be Able to Tell People ‘Great Job’ on Things That Didn’t Work”


“You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

— J. Kermit Campbell, former CEO of Herman Miller

Get inspired by an audio version of this blog!

Campbell has it right.  A CEO is not an expert except in one area: getting the right people. Actually, let’s add another area: values. You must be a leader who gets the best people and demonstrates the highest values.

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Everyday, Something New


Catch the latest audio version of this blog! 

If you look at every day as revealing something new,  then your life will be filled with joy. 

It is that simple.

There is no “same old, same old”…

There is no humdrum.  There is no “boring”.

In fact, “boring” was a swear word according to my beloved Oma. My grandmother was a prolific influence in my life. She was the first female woodwind at the Juilliard School for Music in New York and she was extremely perseverant in making her career happen. You can read more about her in the New York Times, or about her influence on my life.

My Oma was Frances Blaisdell, and she took nothing for granted. She worked very hard. She accepted every performance, large or small, performing to two hundred people — or two. In her mind, everyone deserved a performance.

My Oma experienced the Depression, but my Oma’s work ethic was due more than just to a time in our economy.

She loved to work. She grew up on a farm and they had to do a lot of canning of beans, peas, jams, and jellies in order to save for the winter time. While it was a lot of work, she knew it had to be done.

Later, when she had to work really hard on the flute, it was an absolute joy! She would rather practice than do canning, any day.

Hard work often makes us appreciate the work that we love. 


However, sometimes we face tasks that we don’t enjoy. Yet there is always something new to be learned. If you feel as if you are involved in drudgery, then why not think about the future vision of your life. If a task seems similar, then try it a different way. If you drive to work the same way everyday, find a different route, cook a different recipe, try a new yoga class.  Don’t just accept life as it is.

Life has glorious gifts, every day! Every day!

Every day we need to be grateful for what we can learn, experience, or be involved with.

Every day has something special, whether it is the kind outreach to the homeless person you passed by, a sweet smile to a co-worker, or a beloved call to your mother.

Don’t let the day pass without letting something special and new happen.

If you look for it, every day has something new to learn or a new way to give.

Don’t miss it…

This is a photo of me performing with my grandmother, Frances Blaisdell, my mom Alexandra Hawley, and me at age 10. It was my debut at Stanford.  I was so grateful for  my long dress as I was shaking.


The Pamela Positive: “You Have to be Able to Tell People ‘Great Job’ on Things That Didn’t Work”


“You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.” 

— J. Kermit Campbell, former CEO of Herman Miller

Campbell has it right.  A CEO can be an expert in a lot of areas, but they can’t neglect this: getting the right people. Actually, let’s add another area: values. You must be a leader who gets the best people who demonstrate the highest values.

Your people are then free to think and lead.  They can chart a new course in their business unit and risk making mistakes. Some of those mistakes will turn into innovation.  A lesson learned on the pathway to creativity for your business is not a fault.  It’s a step in growth. So do celebrate the bumps in the road if you have the right people on the bus.

Even if you are a manager, you should still think this way. Empower your people to learn.  Hopefully you can hire them with a domain of expertise.  If they don’t have it, urge them to build it. Let’s learn from Campbell’s advice to us:

“I don’t believe that my job is to lead design at Herman Miller.  My job is to make sure we have great design leaders, continue to listen and try to learn from them…My job is not to be a creative guy, my job is to create a culture that allows and promotes creativity….

You’re going to have to take risks. It’s not all going to work.

You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

Kermit, thank you again for this wise advice.  Our job is to set vision, hire and encourage!  


J. Kermit Campbell is a former CEO of Herman Miller, and the current Lead Independent Director of SPX Corporation.  He is an investor or board member for a number of companies and charitable organizations.  Herman Miller is a leading furniture company, founded by D. J. DePree, with a more than 100-year history.  They focus on innovation, and designing products to create a better world.

Poolside with Pamela: Interview with Incredible Musician Moby

Moby Hopes the Environmental Movement will Further Education on Consequences of Animal Agriculture

I had the pleasure of meeting Moby at the Global Green Grants Gala in May of 2014. Listen in on what Moby has to say about what he would like to see from Global Green!



PH: Tell us what you would like to see, even from 2 years from now, with Global Green?

MOBY: Specifically with Global Green? Hm, that’s a very broad question. That’s a good question. One of my hopes is that the environmental movement will further educate people to the environmental consequences of animal agriculture. Even separate, I’m a vegan, but separate from veganism, just how environmentally irresponsible it is for factory farming and animal-based agriculture. So that’s one of my hopes. Is to continue education about that.

PH: Moby, what would you say is an environmentally conscious song, any favorites?

MOBY: An environmentally conscious song? I have no idea. I don’t know what the criteria would be for an environmentally conscious song. I’ll go with Imagine by John Lennon. Even though it’s not specifically about environmentalism, it’s a beautiful message.