Tag Archives: world change

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 in striving to create fairness, harmony, peace and collaboration in many corners of our world.  He represented hope and reconciliation for so many.

Hammarskjold flew around the world to try to help so many countries needing support–and independent of whether there was an economic interest there, as it should be.  He acted as a force for the U.N., representing fair involvement for all countries: for example, during one Arab crisis in 1958, the U.S. and Britain sent troops to help Lebanon and Jordan. But Hammarskjold was able to get removal of these troops, and one-sided involvement in the crisis, to stop. He then brokered Egypt lifting its blockade of Syria (which would not join the Arab League.)

nations-2022429_1280 (1)

In the 1950s he helped obtain the release of U.S. airmen held captive in China. In approaching 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.  Laos faced extreme danger and he was able to place UN representatives there, which provided watchful protection.  He became part of a very longterm process against apartheid, meeting several times with the Union of South Africa and striving to open 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 to  meet 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; absolutely 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.

Advertisements

The Classic Pamela Positive: “Do All the Good You Can.”

“Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.”

– John Wesley

John Wesley (1703-1791) was the founder of the Methodist movement, along with his brother, Charles. Wesley went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and taught at Oxford’s Lincoln College. He preached in Georgia and throughout England, giving over 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. One of Wesley’s best-known doctrines is that of “salvation by faith.” He also emphasized striving for “Christian Perfection,” where the believer lived by the love of God. He was engaged with social issues such as prison reform and the abolitionist movement. Methodism is now considered a separate denomination of Christianity, although in Wesley’s lifetime it was within the Anglican church. At the time of Wesley’s death, there were 135,000 Methodists; today, they number some 70 million.

The Classic Pamela Positive: Do It Anyway

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere, people may deceive you.
Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.
Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.
Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.
Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

This poem is widely attributed to Mother Teresa, after it was found hanging on a wall in her home for children in Calcutta.  It is a revised version of “The Paradoxical Commandments,” written by Dr. Kent M. Keith.  You can read more about the story on our UniversalGiving blog, PhilanthroPost.

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.

 

*************

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

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.”

“What the World Needs Is People Who Have Come Alive” – Howard Thurman

children-479692_640“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

This is very true. Continue reading

How Can You Use, and Reuse, Paper?

image-2-do

We can live consciously and thoughtfully about how we use paper.  When you write a note, could you also reuse it again, and use the other side?  When you receive a card, is there a portion of it that’s not written on, that could be used for a casual note to a roommate, spouse or friend?  Or perhaps you could even use it for a to-do list.  When you receive a box of a recent book or item of clothing, you can save it for holiday gifts.  Let’s think creatively about our trees…