His Granddaughter Remembers Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

Katheryn Berlandi recalls the life lessons Dr. and Mrs. Peale taught her.

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Hi Guideposts. I’m Katheryn Allen Berlandi, seventh grandchild of Dr. and Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale.

I am honored to be a member of the board of Guideposts, sitting here next to an original printing of The Power of Positive Thinking reminds me of the power of the legacy of Grandma and Grandpa Peale, and what an honor and a privilege it is for me to carry forth that legacy. I think about Grandma and Grandpa every day, as they taught me so many lessons about how to be present with people, and to do what possible to help enrich their lives.

Grandma and Grandpa taught me and my cousins and siblings so many lessons, and truly those lessons were learned by us by observing Grandma and Grandpa and the way they conducted themselves throughout their lives.

Three of them stand out for me, and one is to be kind to others. Seemingly a very simple act, but it does take thought, and it takes time, and it takes opportunity, all of which we do have at our fingertips. So be kind to others.

Another lesson from Grandma and Grandpa Peale was to be a good listener. And I observed this in them every single time I was with them, whether we were amongst hundreds of people or whether we were just with our family, listening, looking the other in the eye and making them feel as though they’re the only person in the room.

And the third lesson is to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself. And that could be anything from a volunteer opportunity or being on a prayer chain or contributing to your community in some simple or large way.

I find myself utilizing Grandpa’s lessons of positive thinking throughout my days, certainly as a mother and as a spouse and professionally. And again, we come back to choice, and that is life is going to hit us in all different places, and it doesn’t always feel good or feel right or fair. And it is in those moments that we can make a choice to think positively, which doesn’t mean it’s all going to turn out just the way one would hope, but having the attitude and hope there is part of positive thinking. The attitude of, I’m going to be all right or we are going to be all right.

The power of positive thinking or living with a positive attitude is an active way of being. We can have hopes and dreams, but we’ve got to work at them. And we have to figure out ways, constructive and positive and fruitful ways to navigate through our lives.

Grandma and Grandpa started a number of ventures, and one of them, of course, was Guideposts. Guideposts began as an inspirational magazine with inspirational first-person stories, and that exists today. And it’s a very, very successful magazine because the needs of people out there just like you and just like me need to hear inspirational stories.

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