November 15, 2015

2 Examples of Hope Against the Odds




“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…” Proverbs 23:7 KJV Please think about that: we are what we think. Those are incredibly powerful words! Individuals who believe in a bright future may seem to be in the minority lately.  It is not easy to keep up hope in the bottomless sea of negativity that the Age of Information provides.

I just learned that ISIS says that one of its next two targets will be Washington, D.C. I live close to that city. My husband works there. Should I hide under the covers of my bed all day?

Keeping the Light Burning in the Darkness

Recently, I posted an article about hope.  I would like to continue writing about hope against the odds today. I will highlight two men who epitomize success after years of struggling:



George Washington Carver (app. 1860-1943)

“Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.”
“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”


The image above is of a boll weevil. It feeds on cotton buds and flowers. This insect migrated to America from Mexico in the late 19th century. By the 1920’s, it had infested all of the cotton-growing areas in the American South. The cotton industry was devastated. The impact was felt through the Great Depression of 1929.

George Washington Carver, born into slavery, was a botanist and inventor who helped turn everything around. He researched and promoted alternative crops to cotton, including peanuts, soy beans, and sweet potatoes—with a special concentration on peanuts. He put together 105 recipes for peanuts. He also developed and promoted 100 peanut-based products, including cosmetics, paints, dyes, gas, and nitroglycerin.

Farmers started planting other crops besides cotton, thanks to the research of Carver. They actually made much more money growing peanuts than they had growing cotton.


Joel Osteen

“Choosing to be positive and having a grateful attitude is going to determine how you’re going to live your life.”
“I believe if you keep your faith, you keep your trust, you keep the right attitude, if you’re grateful, you’ll see God open new doors.”

He is the head pastor of possibly the largest church in America, Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas. His main focus is on preaching general, Bible-based positivity. To me, his words are always uplifting. However, some people do not appreciate this approach. They want to hear specifics on what they’re doing wrong and how they need to change their lives. These individuals conclude that talking in an only optimistic manner is misleading and ineffective.

Since he took over the job, Pastor Osteen has been subject to criticism of his style of preaching, his positive attitude, and more. Lakewood Church meets in the huge Compaq Center, the former venue of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team, the Houston Rockets. There was plenty of opposition on the way to securing the site, though.  He fought a costly three-year legal battle. He wasn’t sure how they’d find the money to rent, or buy, the building. Also, one of his detractors told him that it would be a cold day in Hell before Lakewood got the building. I guess they opened an ice-skating rink in Hell a few years ago.

My Conclusion

From Google Images: “A negative thinker sees a difficulty in every opportunity. A positive thinker sees an opportunity in every difficulty.”

Please see more about positive attitudes in my book, Accept No Trash: Overcoming the Odds


How have you turned negatives into positives?