Sweet souls around us watch us still, press nearer to our side; Into our thoughts, into our prayers, with gentle helpings glide.
- Harriet Beecher Stowe
When I started working at Guideposts more than 25 years ago, I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, the founder, with his wife Ruth Stafford Peale, of Guideposts magazine. Dr. Peale came to the office on several occasions to address the staff, and we loved him.
He was a natural-born teacher and some kind of expert on human nature. He was youthful and energetic, and made us laugh with stories of his shortcomings and insecurities. While we laughed, we learned things, not just about him but about ourselves as well.
According to author Mitch Horowitz, who’s written a history of positive thinking, Dr. Peale’s bestselling The Power of Positive Thinking was “the document” that brought positive thinking into just about every household in America. Mitch says it was a phrase that “came to life” in this country. It certainly came to life in Dr. Peale, who lived to be 95. At his memorial service in December 1993, his wife (who lived to be 101!) said she believed Norman was “having a great time with the angels up there.”
To me, brand-new to what has become a long career at Guideposts, Dr. Peale was an angel on earth who introduced me to the work I love. Mitch’s mini-documentary, “One Simple Idea,” provides a fascinating look at Dr. Peale’s place in history.
Colleen Hughes is the editor-in-chief of Angels on Earth. She's been at Guideposts for 20 plus years, and lives in a Hudson River town with her two daughters and two cats.