Tag Archives: wisdom

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Light Trumps Darkness, Every Time” – Jodi Picoult

 

cortes-island-christmas-88336-tn

 

 

“There’s always going to be bad stuff out there. But here’s the amazing thing: Light trumps darkness, every time. You can stick a candle into the dark, but you can’t stick the dark into the light.”

– Jodi Picoult

 

******

 

Jodi Picoult is an American author with 14 million copies of her books in print worldwide. She wrote her first story at age 5, titled “The Lobster Which Misunderstood.” With a degree from Princeton University in writing and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University, Jodi took a variety of jobs before Nineteen Minutes became her first book to debut at #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. In total, Jodi is the bestselling author of eighteen novels, five of which have been adapted for film and TV. Jodi, her husband Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with two Springer spaniels, a rescue puppy, two donkeys, two geese, one duck, eight chickens, and the occasional Holstein.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make of Your Life an Affirmation”

 

“Make of your life an affirmation, defined by your ideals, not the negation of others. Dare to the level of your capability then go beyond to a higher level.”

– Alexander Haig

4678571644_e92e303f6f_o

 

 

*****

 

Alexander Haig was a four-star general in the United States Army, as well as Chief of Staff under President Nixon and President Ford, and Secretary of State under President Reagan. He grew up as the middle child in a Catholic family in Pennsylvania. Haig would attend the University of Notre Dame for a couple years before finishing at West Point Academy. He would later also receive an MBA from Columbia Business School and a MA in International Relations from Georgetown University. A veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam War, Haig received the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart. He was married Patricia Fox and they had three children together.

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: “The Greatest Mind is Always the Simplest.” – Russell Conwell

Now, the greatest mind is always the simplest.
Did you ever see a really great man?
Great in the best and truest sense?
If so, you could walk right up to him and say:
“How are you, Jim? “

 

-Russell Conwell, “Acres of Diamonds”

 

That’s right. The most amazing people are warm and accessible to all. That’s because they know everyone has a beautiful gift to give, and no one is greater. The greatest gift is being open and loving.



*****

 

Russell Conwell (February 15, 1843 – December 6, 1925) was an American Baptist minister, orator, philanthropist, lawyer, and writer. He is best remembered as the founder and first president of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and for his inspirational lecture Acres of Diamonds. The son of Massachusetts farmers, Conwell attended Yale University and after graduating enlisted in the Union Army during the American Civil War. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1880, and delivered his famous speech “Acres of Diamonds” over 6,000 times around the world. The central idea of the work is that one need not look elsewhere for opportunity, achievement, or fortune – the resources to achieve all good things are present in one’s own community. Conwell’s capacity to establish Temple University and his other civic projects largely derived from the income that he earned from the speech. The published version has been regarded as a classic of New Thought literature since the 1870s.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Love Is Not Love Until Love’s Vulnerable” – Wisdom Inside a Chocolate Wrapper

“Love is not love until love’s vulnerable.” 

 

The Dream by Theodore Roethke,

as found on the inside of a Trader Joe’s chocolate bar wrapper

 

background-2554_1280

 

*****

 

Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) was an American poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, for his book The Waking.  His other best known books include The Lost Son, The Far Field, and Words for the Wind.  His poetry is noted for its rhythm, imagery and focus on nature. He grew up in Saginaw, Michigan and his father was a German immigrant. He received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan for English. He went on to graduate school at Harvard College before he would leave to teach English at a number of universities. In 1953, Roethke married a former student, Beatrice O’Connell. Roethke is widely considered to be one of the most accomplished and influential poets of his time. He taught poetry at the University of Washington for many years and was highly regarded by his colleagues and students.

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

wanderer-455338_1280

 

*****

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.

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Man Was Never Intended to Become an Oyster” – Theodore Roosevelt

“Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

 

runner-555074_640

 

Theodore Roosevelt was a true action man. He tumbled down the rivers of Brazil in turbulent times in South America. He took a stand for civil rights when it was not popular to do so. He defied the odds in elections, time and time again. He was persecuted and persevered in so many realms, overcoming his fears.

 

****

 

President Theodore Roosevelt Jr. is famous for his larger-than-life personality, adventurous lifestyle, and strong opinions.  He was an avid outdoorsman all his life, fought in the Spanish American War, wrote books on history and naturalism, and made expeditions to Africa and South America. He was prominent in politics, holding a number of offices; he is still the youngest person to be President of the United States.  Though popularly known as “Teddy” (and the inspiration for “teddy bears”), Roosevelt actually disliked the nickname, considering it too informal.  He married Alice Lee in 1880, with whom he had one child before she passed away. He would later marry Edith Carow and they would have five children together.

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

 

“Make each day your masterpiece.”

— John Wooden

 

woman-591576_1280

 

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.