Monday, June 7, 2010

You Have a Chance

Charles Revson, founder of the successful cosmetic manufacturing firm Revlon, once said, “In our factory we make lipstick. In our advertising, we sell hope.”

We could use a little more hope. I think that is why people buy lottery tickets. One poor mother, who was raising her children on a small salary earned from long hours of hard work, was asked, “Why do you waste your money on a lottery ticket when you can hardly make ends meet?”

“Yeah, I buy a ticket every day,” the woman acknowledged. “But a dollar is not too much to pay for 24 hours of hope.”

There are probably better uses for her money than buying lottery tickets. But she would rather hang onto a little hope than onto her dollar.

We need hope. It is a vital ingredient in life. Without it, far too many people come to the conclusion that they are powerless in the face of difficulties. "It can't be helped," is their motto. Without hope, they won't make needed changes. They feel powerless. Without hope, they will grimly accept the unacceptable and believe that things are about as good as they will ever get.

I've found that I can either be a prisoner of circumstances or a practitioner of hope. I can feel sorry for myself and helpless to do anything about my problems, or I can believe there is a realistic chance for something better.

Norman Cousins, in his book Head First, the Biology of Hope, illustrates the power of hope. He tells of two physicians who were to deliver a paper at a national meeting of cancer specialists. One was truly perplexed. “I don’t understand it, Bob," he said. "We use the same drugs, the same dosage, and the same schedule of treatment. Yet I get a 22% recovery rate and you get a 74% recovery rate. How do you explain that?”

The other responded, “We both use Etoposide, Platinol, Oncovin, and Hydroxyurea. You put those letters together and tell people that you are giving them E-P-O-H. I put them together and explain to them that they are receiving H-O-P-E. I emphasize that they have a chance.”

You do have a chance. You have a chance at life. You have a chance at success. You have a chance at wholeness. You have a chance at meaningful relationships and, though you may not believe it, at happiness.

Are you a prisoner of circumstances … stuck and helpless, or a practitioner of hope? It can be a difference between life and death.

-- Steve Goodier

Image: Robinson


Anonymous said...

Uplifting and powerful inspiring thought. Thanks for sharing, Steve. Funny, but am writing a new book about hope. True stories of 'Endless Possibilities, Far and Great Horizons'

"The spring of hope is eternal and will never run dry."
- craig

Craig's blog (with extracts from his various writings: articles, books and new manuscripts) is at and

Anonymous said...

Kind of surprised you quoted Harvey Milk.

Adriana Romanini said...

Thanks, Steve. Your messages are always uplifting and they make a huge difference in my life.

Steve Goodier said...

Craig, I hope you finish that book on hope -- what an important topic. Let us know when it is done!

Unknown said...

Uplifting and inspiring Steve.

Loren Gelberg-Goff said...

As always, this is a wonderful message. I have forwarded on your post to Russ Haan, who started the project: Hope is in the Cards ( I think it is vitally important for all of us to connect to HOPE when there is such an abundance of negativity being bombarded at us. Hope keeps us moving forward, and looking for solutions rather than staying focused on what's wrong. Thank you for all you do to keep hope alive! Loren

Unknown said...

As usual, Steve, you hit the nail on the head! When I was among those civilians interned by the Japanese in Manila during WW 2; and, when our American forces were initially forced back to Bataan, New Guinea and Australia, hope was all that kept most of us sane,in spite of the constant propaganda being fed to us about how well the Japanese were doing. Those who lost hope usually were those who suffered the most and who died first of disease and/or starvation.

Thank you for all that you do for everyone, Dad

Steve Goodier said...

Loren, I haven't heard of the site Hope is in the cards. Thanks for sending the message on.

And Dad, well, I didn't know you were reading the blog. Thanks for the compliment!