UN Chief Promotes Value of Inclusion at WEF

Inclusion (noun): the act of including something as a part of something else

In a special address at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres promoted the value of inclusion urging global audiences not to ‘vilify those that disagree’ but instead suggesting ‘we need to show these people that we care’. The U.N. Chief’s inclusive message came in reference to mounting tensions in recent years between globalist and nationalist movements. During his address, Guterres said he’s convinced that global challenges can only be dealt with through global responses, yet urged working to understand why opponents disagree adding “we need to show these people that we care for them.”

In this Guardian op-ed, writer Zoe Williams, also touted inclusiveness as a value while making the case for nationalism saying “good nationalism is inclusive not because it constantly thumps on about how inclusive it is, but because it includes, by definition, every man, woman and child who contributed to the achievement.”

Guterres also urged for inclusiveness while addressing the latest demonstrations and unrest in Venezuela saying “the urgent need for all relevant actors to commit to inclusive and credible political dialogue to address the protracted crisis in the country, with full respect for the rule of law and human rights”.

In this follow up interview, Guterres added “if dialogue is not possible, then what are we doing? In all circumstances in the world – even the most difficult circumstances – we need to push for dialogue.”

Questions to consider: Is inclusion a personal value? Do you agree with Guterres’ message that more inclusion is needed? Why or why not? Is the opposite of inclusion, exclusion, ever appropriate? Why or why not? Does Guterres’ message inspire you to be more inclusive? Why or why not?

Controversial Saints No-Call Puts National Spotlight on Value of Fairness

Sunday’s controversial no-call, in which fans allege cost the Saints an opportunity to advance to the Super Bowl, is now putting a national spotlight on the value of fairness.

Fair (adjective): in accordance with the rules or standards; legitimate.
Fairness (noun); ability to make judgments free from discrimination or dishonesty.

This week, Saints owner Gayle Benson said in a statement, “Getting to the Super Bowl is incredibly difficult to do and takes such an unbelievable commitment from a team and support from its fans. No team should ever be denied the opportunity to reach the title game (or simply win a game) based on the actions, or inactions, of those charged with creating a fair and equitable playing field. As is clear to all who watched the game, it is undeniable that our team and fans were unfairly deprived of that opportunity yesterday.” She went on to say. “The NFL must always commit to providing the most basic of expectations- fairness and integrity.”

Two fan lawsuits filed Tuesday claim the NFL failed to handle the situation fairly.

“The impact of the non-call is egregious and demands recourse,” states the lawsuit, filed by attorney Frank D’Amico Jr. “As a direct result of the said incident, plaintiffs herein have been left bereft and with no faith in the National Football League for fairness despite the league’s own rules to correct such errors, along with emotional anguish (and) monetary loss for ticket holders, who purchase tickets with the presumption of integrity and fairness.”

Meantime, Rams left tackle Andrew Whitworth noted the no-call wasn’t the only one missed in the game. “So, the reality is, where is the last foul that you want to argue? Whether it’s blatant or not is not a matter. It’s whether it’s a foul,” said Whitworth in this interview. “So, it’s just one of those things that’s a slippery slope.”

Questions to consider: Is fairness a personal value? Was the situation handled fairly? How should the situation be handled?  How has the controversy challenged or inspired you?

Viral Protest Video Sparks National Debate Over Value of Respect

The viral video depicting an encounter between a group of Kentucky high school students and a Native American elder sparked a national debate this week over the value of respect.

Respect (verb): (a) to consider worthy of high regard; (b) to refrain from interfering with.

Some accused the students of wrongdoing saying they had been disrespectfully mocking the Native American, Nathan Phillips, participating in the Indigenous Peoples March in D.C. Others blasted the media and critical viewers saying they had unfairly rushed to judgment after one of the students said he’d been trying to diffuse the situation and that the video had been taken out of context. 

Although neither side agreed on who was in the wrong, both advocated in favor of the value of respect – igniting further debate over what is respectful behavior – and what is not.

“I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me — to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.” Nick Sandmann, Covington High School Junior

In a statement provided by CNN, Nick Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic High School, identified himself as the student in the video confronted by the Native American protestor. Sandmann said, “I am a faithful Christian and practicing Catholic, and I always try to live up to the ideals my faith teaches me — to remain respectful of others, and to take no action that would lead to conflict or violence.”

In an interview with CNN, Native American elder Nathan Phillips, explained the song he’d been singing during the incident. “The reason for it, was to bring unity and to bring love and compassion back into our minds and our beings as men and as protector of what is right, ” Phillips said. What he felt like he was witnessing, however, was hate. “I don’t like to say the word hate. I don’t like to have it in my heart, around me. It’s just not a thing I want to carry with me.”

“This Veteran put his life on the line for our country. The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking.” Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM)

Meantime, Congresswoman Deb Haaland in a statement on Twitter, wrote: “This Veteran put his life on the line for our country. The students’ display of blatant hate, disrespect, and intolerance is a signal of how common decency has decayed under this administration. Heartbreaking.”

Questions to consider: Is respect a personal value? Did the students behave respectfully? Why or why not? Did the Native American protester behave respectfully? Why or why not? Did the media and viewers behave respectfully? Did other groups involved behave respectfully? Why or why not? How will the debate influence your actions going forward?

Border Wall Debate Ignites National Conversation on Value of Compromise

This Friday, with the partial government shutdown extending well into a fifth week, federal employees are set to miss a second paycheck. Still, there is no end in sight as the border wall debate stands at a stalemate.

The president wants a border wall. Democrats call it immoral. The dispute has since ignited a national conversation over whether ‘compromise’ is a national value, and if so, what a compromise would entail in this situation.

Compromise (verb): to settle a dispute by mutual concession.

Over the weekend, the President proposed what he called a “common-sense compromise.” The plan offers temporary protections for more than one million immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border wall funding. The proposal also includes $12.7 billion to assist regions impacted by hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he plans to bring the plan to the Senate floor for a vote, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) dismissed the President’s offer as “not a compromise but more hostage taking,” arguing the President’s first order of business should be reopening the government – not negotiating immigration reform.

Meantime, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is proposing a different solution and as House Speaker plans to bring forth legislation that includes $1 billion for border security – including 75 more immigration judges and infrastructure improvement. But with democrats not offering to include funding for the wall, the President has said he wouldn’t sign the legislation and McConnell says he won’t bring it to the Senate floor.

Throughout US history, prominent Americans have expressed different takes on whether compromise is a noble value.

  • “Compromise’ isn’t supposed to be a dirty word. It is, in fact, how representative democracy works.” Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-MA)
  • “The ‘morality of compromise’ sounds contradictory. Compromise is usually a sign of weakness, or an admission of defeat. Strong men don’t compromise, it is said, and principles should never be compromised.” Andrew Carnegie, American industrialist, business magnate, and philanthropist.
  • “Healthy disagreement, debate, leading to compromise has always been the American way.” Former Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri (R)
  • “Unless you are willing to compromise, society cannot live together.” Former Chair of the Federal Reserve of the United States Alan Greenspan

Mahatma Gandhi, widely recognized as one of the twentieth century’s greatest political and spiritual leaders, said “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on mere fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”

For the President, the “fundamental” he refuses to compromise on is safety/protection. President Trump tweeted this morning, “Without a Wall our Country can never have Border or National Security.”

For democrats, other “fundamental” values take priority, including accountability, effectiveness and inclusiveness. Pelosi has said, “A wall, in my view, is an immorality. It’s the least effective way to protect the border and the most costly. and an abuse of presidential power.” Rep. Adam Smith, the new chair of the House Armed Services Committee, has said Trump’s campaign for a border wall is rooted in “xenophobia and racism.”

While for some, compromise comes down to making mutual concessions, or as Gandhi called it “give and take”, for others, there can be no compromise given the debate for them is about not compromising on higher priorities.

Questions to consider: Is compromise a personal value? Is compromise appropriate in the border wall debate? Why or why not? What other competing values (or “fundamentals”) take priority, if any? How will this debate influence you moving forward?

Health: What does it take to get healthy?

2019 New Year Silhouette of Girl Dancing at Golden Sunrise

Did you resolve to get healthier this New Year? If so, you aren’t alone!

According to an INSIDER poll the majority of respondents said they planned to make 2019 resolutions that were health-related.

But what does getting healthy mean? And what does it actually take to get healthy?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being.”

In this article on health by MedicalNewsToday, the steps for maximizing our health are more than diet and exercise.  Being healthy also included: learning to manage stress, engaging in activities that provide purpose and connection to others, maintaining a positive outlook and appreciating what you have, and defining a value system (and putting it into action).

I believe that the greatest gift you can give your family and the world is a healthy you.

Joyce Meyer

Faith: Hurricane Irma Evacuee Shares Her Rescue Story

In September 2017, Christina Eckert and her husband left San Antonio to celebrate a milestone birthday with friends on a sailing vacation through the Carribbean. Within days, Hurricane Irma had grown to a Category 5 storm and the Eckerts were in the storm’s crosshairs.

Christina shares their story of faith & survival and how they were rescued through the heroic efforts of strangers.

Watch: An Interview with a Hurricane Irma Evacuee

Podcast: Listen to an interview with a Hurricane Irma evacuee sharing her story of faith

Healing: Experiencing a Healing Drumming Circle

mitakuy oyasin

Purposeful PR’s Mindy Mizell visit with a Native American trauma therapist in Oklahoma to explore his life’s purpose helping people heal through drumming.

Written by: Mindy Mizell

“Are you sure this thing starts at 6pm?” I asked my Mom as we slowed our car and peered through the side windows to review the addresses on the neighborhood homes. The sun had not yet set, but we were struggling to figure out where we were and Mom didn’t seem to remember the full details of the event invite.

“No, I’m not sure,” Mom giggled, clearly not bothered that we could be about to show up at a stranger’s house totally uninvited.

I was already nervous to be here. Mom had asked me if I had wanted to attend a “healing drumming circle” with her when I visited her in Oklahoma, and I’d initially been quick to agree because the experience sounded fascinating. Mom had heard about it from a group of friends that she had started meeting with to help her heal from a traumatic divorce. After 44 years of marriage, my family had imploded. The shock of what had transpired had rocked me to my core. My mom was still trying to heal as well, particularly as the finalization of the divorce was now just weeks away. Plus, the year had been particularly traumatic for me personally and professionally so I knew I was in need of anything soothing. The idea of a healing drumming circle sounded odd, but I was up for anything that may help. Mom had already been once before, but she couldn’t quite remember which house it had been. And now I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it at all if it could mean showing up unexpected.

“Maybe we should forget about it,” I suggested. Mom had stopped in front of a home that she said looked similar to the one she had been to before, but she still wasn’t positive. Nor was she sure that she had the correct date and time.

Our host, Jim, was to be a Native American trauma counselor who monthly opened up his home to friends and strangers interested in participating in a “healing drumming circle”. For the past nine years, he had apparently been using his experience and training helping people overcome trauma to facilitate a healing drumming circle in his living room. I wasn’t quite sure what a healing drumming circle was, but Mom had assured me it was nothing weird. “It’s just drumming,” she’d said. Still, I’d never drummed before, and I wasn’t quite clear on the whole point. Plus, I wasn’t really in the habit of showing up at unfamiliar addresses to hang out with strangers who were there to “heal”.

“Mom, seriously…..” I urged hoping we would give up our search, but she didn’t seem deterred by the awkwardness.

Then Mom recognized another driver approaching the same house and rolled her window down. After a few seconds of chatting with him and his son, she was now convinced we were at the correct address, although we concluded we could be a half hour early. So we decided to go for it. We parked and went up to the front door to knock.

Jim greeted us at the door and welcomed us inside. We were ushered into his large living room where an arrangement of small to mid-sized drums were positioned in front of chairs and couches. Mom and I chose comfortable chairs near the front and sat down.

“I had that drum last time,” Mom smiled as I positioned myself behind a drum seated on the floor. It appeared to be some sort of log that had been turned into a drum, but I’d preferred its size and shape compared to the other drum options throughout the room.drum

For the next forty-five minutes, guests of all ages, cultures and backgrounds began arriving at Jim’s home until the room was full of dozens of strangers. I was fascinated with how popular the event seemed to be. No one seemed to think this was weird, yet I wasn’t quite sure I felt comfortable myself.

At some point, Jim went to the back patio and his guests started forming a line to get “smudged”. Okay. Now I was officially weirded out! Just the sound of the word “smudging” sounded foreign and unnerving, yet I watched from my chair as through the window I could see Jim conducting some sort of Native American smoke ritual. As each guest approached, Jim seemed to wave smoke over their bodies and heads. I watched in mesmerization until I realized I should probably go stand in line for a turn too.

When I got to the front of the line, Jim quietly asked me when I had last been smudged. I tried not to giggle, but I couldn’t help but think of how odd his question sounded. Jim seemed to talk about smudging as naturally as I would about jogging.

“Um, never,” I answered with a smile as Jim waved smoke over my body.

“This is an ancient ritual,” Jim started to explain. He continued to share how he was performing a Native American ceremony that used dried herbs and smoke to clear any negative energy before we started.

“Thank you?” I offered as he finished. I wasn’t sure what to say, but a polite thank you seemed to be the most appropriate thing I could come up with on the spot. “Maybe I should be saying, Namaste?” I briefly thought to myself. I wasn’t sure. But the moment had passed so I quietly went back to my chair to wait.

While Jim continued to smudge the remaining guests, his wife (introduced as Jim’s “Chosen”) began slowly drumming at the front of the room. One by one, those seated in the living room also began drumming with her. Even Mom started to drum beside me. I realized that we seemed to be starting already, so I listened for a rhythm and joined in with my drum as well.

The next few hours felt like I’d joined an ancient symphony of sorts. Jim eventually joined and our group got into full swing with its collective drumming. While there seemed to be an underlining rhythm or beat, I realized each individual was playing a little differently. Some were doing two or three beats while others were just doing one. Some drummers played louder and others softer. At some point, the music filling the room seemed to take on a life of its own, and I listened in amazement at the beauty. I was in awe as the experience seemed so natural and yet foreign to me.

About half way through our evening, the drumming slowly dwindled down and eventually stopped. Jim later described our experience like a heartbeat that was becoming calmer and slower until it finally stops altogether.

Jim then introduced himself, welcomed us to his home and proceeded to explain some of the drumming process.

“You’ll notice there is a flag here too,” Jim shared as he pointed to an individual seated on the floor who he’d draped a large yellow flag over their shoulders at some point during our drumming time. He shared how the flag was a symbol of healing too and that the flag bearer he’d selected was now responsible for choosing another member of our group to receive the flag once our drumming resumed. Jim said that being a recipient of the flag was an opportunity to heal even more and that we should see it as a symbol of safety within our group. Anyone who received it was welcome to keep the flag as long as they felt it was needed, and then it was up to the recipient to select another drummer in our group to receive it next.

After a short intermission to enjoy a potluck dinner with the other guests, the drumming eventually started up yet again and the room filled with the loud music created by our drums. This round, I felt more comfortable now that I realized that this strange evening was actually feeling more natural than I’d expected and drumming seemed to help me relax and express a part of me that seemed to be getting stirred up from deep within. Plus, the music we seemed to be creating just sounded beautiful and I was enjoying listening while participating.

At some point, our flag bearer rose up from his position on the floor and approached me. He gently draped the large flag over my shoulders as I continued to drum. I could feel my emotions welling up inside me. I felt grateful. I felt sad. I felt happy. I felt honored. I felt curious. I felt loved.

After ten minutes or so of basking in my mixed well of emotions and reprocessing many of the traumatic events I’d experienced over the past year, I finally realized I felt just grateful and privileged to be in this moment. Some how, life had landed me in a stranger’s home where I was now pounding on a drum. This wasn’t on my original travel plans nor was it something I could have planned if I’d tried. Yet, I was now experiencing a powerful moment that was both beautiful and safe … and even inspiring. No matter what I’d experienced and endured over the past year or more, it no longer mattered. I was starting to understand that my life and this drumming circle were somehow all connected to something bigger. I knew I didn’t need to worry. I didn’t need to stress. I could slowly let go and simply enjoy just being.

As the evening progressed, I knew I was ready to hand off the healing flag and quietly rose to drape another drummer’s shoulders. I’d selected a young participant who seemed to be troubled by whatever life had brought her way as well, and I prayed for her to heal as I offered the flag to her.

Our drumming eventually dwindled down a second time, and the room became peacefully still as Jim concluded our evening with a few more Native American rituals and songs.

“What WAS that?” I quietly asked myself as the room slowly started to empty. I wasn’t sure how to describe our healing drumming circle. I’d experienced so many emotions throughout. I had also gained an appreciation for my own unique drumming rhythm while recognizing it was part of a collective symphony of sorts.

Yet, could I put into words what a healing drumming circle actually was? Not really. I just knew I felt good. I felt better. I felt stronger. And I felt grateful.

“You ready to go?” Mom asked. I felt a bit dazed as I rose from my drum to leave for the evening.

“That was awesome,” I smiled as we left Jim’s house. I knew someday, I’d want to come back.




Listen to my follow up podcast interview with Jim to learn more about healing drumming circles.


What is your PURPOSE? Discover your life’s purpose and subscribe to the Purposeful Podcast for the latest podcast episodes inspiring purposeful living & working.

Purposeful PR is a public relations consultancy promoting purpose-driven brands, nonprofits and influencers. Learn more at www.PurposefulPR.com.

Innovation: How Capital Teas Innovates through Collaboration to Offer Something for Everyone

“Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.”  William Pollard

I’ll admit. I’m a coffee drinker. And I’m lucky, because every morning my husband hand delivers me a steaming hot cup of coffee before I even get out of bed. And he’s not even a coffee drinker himself! He prefers tea.


That’s how I first discovered Capital Teas. We were downtown Annapolis when he spotted the cute store and wanted to walk through it. The shop stood at the edge of the downtown area along the Chesapeake Bay. It seemed a fitting store name given its location was based in the heart of Maryland’s capitol.

But even as a coffee drinker, I was immediately blown away by Capital Teas. Along their “sniffing wall” were rows and rows of all different teas. Roasted Almond, Organic Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Island Mango tea. We stood there sniffing the many varieties of samples trying to pick our favorites.

Again recently, we found ourselves in another one of their stores. This time it was their National Harbor location, much closer to our nation’s capitol of Washington, DC. Again, I was impressed by the store and how a product seemingly so simple – tea! – could offer such an eclectic blend of varieties. Even the tea kettles ranged from small to large and came in all shapes and sizes.

I learned that in just 10 short years of existence, Capital Teas has today expanded to nearly two dozen store locations around the country and even sells internationally through its online website. Plus, the company has plans to expand each year as well.


Given the company’s impressive growth and my own interest in why some companies succeed and others don’t, I decided to carefully examine Capital Teas’ corporate values. I’d recently been recommended a book called “Start With Why” by Simon Sinek who says that the most successful and thriving companies don’t sell based on WHAT they do, but WHY they do what they do. Personally, I’d come to that same conclusion as well so I had been excited to see that there was a book that offered case studies that backed the theory that it’s more effective to start with WHY. Those case studies included success stories ranging from Steve Jobs with Apple to the Wright Brother’s invention of the airplane.

Although very few companies advertise on their website WHY – or their reason for existence, I’d found the majority do have a values statement that supports their corporate mission statement.

So I wanted to know…why is Capital Teas so successful and thriving? Why does the company exist? And does the company’s purpose play a role in its success?


I simply started with their website and soon discovered that one of Capital Teas’ corporate values was “innovation”. No surprise given I’d already seen first hand how they had innovated a wide variety of tea flavors I never would have thought of myself. How about Fountain of Youth Acai Tea? Or Madame Butterfly Jasmine? Maybe try one of the top sellers, Milk Oolong? So many options!

But I didn’t fully appreciate what Capital Teas means by incorporating the value of innovation until I dropped by another one of their stores on Capitol Hill to talk with their staff.


We want tea to be something everybody can enjoy, shared their spokesperson. So we even have a meeting called the creativity crockpot where we bring all our different ideas to the table – no matter how big or small they are. We really want to inspire each other and get our creative juices flowing!

in-no-va-tion: (noun) something new; significant positive change

In preparation for our interview, I’d also carefully examined the definition of innovation.  While Webster defines innovation as something new, many business leaders have started using the definition significant positive change to more specifically challenge their teams to innovate with a positive outcome in mind.


As I listened to Capital Teas describe how they incorporate innovation into their successful business model, I realized that innovation didn’t occur at their stores with just a single person. Innovation required collaboration, listening, being open to new ideas and creating solutions together.

I left with a new appreciation for what it means to truly value and practice innovation, both personally and professionally. Want to bring significant positive change into your personal life or workplace? Collaborate. Listen. Be open to new ideas!

And yes, even this coffee drinker found a tea she loved. And its name definitely included the word ‘chocolate’!INNOVATION

purposeful pr pixelsHear more from Capital Teas on what it means to live & work with Innovation. Listen to Innovation: How Capital Teas Inspires Innovation.

What is your PURPOSE? Discover your life’s purpose and subscribe to the Purposeful Podcast for the latest podcast episodes inspiring purposeful living & working.

Purposeful PR is a public relations consultancy promoting purpose-driven brands, nonprofits and influencers. Learn more at www.PurposefulPR.com.


Compassion: Part 2 – Stamp Out Hunger Campaign Offers Compassion Filled Opportunities

‘Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” Confucius

food drive 3I would like to think of myself as a compassionate person. It’s a positive value that I know is a good thing. But if I stop to think about the last time I put into action actually being compassionate, I find myself running through a list of activities and wondering if they count? Does tithing at church make me a compassionate person even though the Bible says I’m already supposed to be giving? Was I compassionate when I gave the homeless guy on the corner my last five dollar bill or was that the least I could do to help without feeling guilty? Perhaps I was compassionate when I helped the elderly ladies at the movie theater get a few cups of water so they didn’t have to get back up. But if I’m honest, I feel a little embarrassed that I’m not doing more to actually practice compassion on a regular basis. Our busy lives leave us running from one activity to the next without much thought.

Recently, I was told that practicing compassion is like learning to ride a bike. The man who shared the advice was a long time volunteer at a local animal shelter, and he was trying to make the case to just start somewhere and you’ll get better at being compassionate the more you do. I have since thought of his advice and think he’s right. Perhaps becoming more compassionate requires more than practice, but making it a habit of daily looking for opportunities to put into action what we believe is an important value. stampforhungerstamp

On Saturday, May 13th, the 25th annual Stamp Out
Hunger campaign will take place across the country in nearly 10,000 U.S. cities and towns. Letter carriers will be picking up non-perishable food donations left at mailboxes to be delivered to local food pantries. But the National Association of Letter Carriers says it is picking up much this weekend than just food but also the compassion and kindness from neighbors.fooddrive1
When I heard that letter carriers would be picking up compassion, I realized this was a great way for each of us to do something little and put into practice being compassionate.  So this weekend, I challenge and encourage all of us who wish we were more compassionate people to actually become compassion filled people. Do you have a few cans in your cupboard you can donate? Do you have time to run to the grocery to pick up some food donations? Let’s go do it. And while we’ll be joining a national movement to help the more than 50 million in the United States who are hungry, we’ll also be becoming the very people we hoped we would become too.

food drive 5

Listen to this week’s Purposeful Podcast to hear from a spokesperson with the National Letter Carriers Association on the 2017 Stamp Out Hunger campaign.

What is your PURPOSE? Discover your life’s purpose and subscribe to Purposeful Podcast for the latest podcast episodes inspiring purposeful living & working.

Purposeful PR is a public relations consultancy promoting purpose-driven brands, nonprofits and influencers. Learn more at http://www.PurposefulPR.com.