We can share hope with others.
It’s a powerful pillar in my life. In other words: Hope is not merely one person’s dream in isolation. From the very beginning of human life on earth, hope has been a currency we can give and receive.
At our best, we can do this every day in many ways.
For three decades, people have been talking about Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages. What Chapman did in his mega-bestseller was name five kinds of currency people use to share love: giving gifts, words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service and physical touch. The value of his wisdom is obvious in the more than 10 million copies of his book that have sold worldwide.
Now, we need to learn that hope also is a currency and it takes as many forms as love. Just as Gary Chapman did not invent the idea of sharing love in various forms, I did not make up the idea that we can share hope in many ways.
What I have tried to illustrate through my own life story is that, when we shine brightly, we can give many forms of hope to others. Chapman had his five labels: gifts, affirmations, time, service and touch as forms of love. We can learn a lot about sharing hope by starting with that list. For example, during both of my life-and-death struggles with cancer, I experienced the power of physical touch to revive my hopes. Effective cancer treatment depends on the compassionate physical care of countless doctors, nurses, technicians, aides, caregivers and loved ones.
Sharing hope can be an easy, everyday part of life.
Throughout this book, I have shared dozens of inspirational stories from Silicon Valley to Eastern Europe, from family vacations to bedside vigils in hospitals, from births to burials. I have tried to offer a wide range of invitations to readers. Maybe you are inspired by neighborhood stories like those with Papa Leo and Imelda? Maybe you were inspired by the religious connections I have made throughout my life? Maybe you take heart from my stories of beating impossible odds against cancer? Or maybe you are moved by questions like the ones my daughter, Emily, poses to young campers she supervises in the wilderness: If today was the last day of your life, what legacy would you leave behind?
What I realize, as I complete the two years of research, interviews and writing that went into this memoir, is that as a little boy my Bubby Bertha taught me a deeper truth than I was able to fully appreciate at the time. Yes, found money is God’s money—but that means far more than the destination of an occasional coin we find along the way. It means that this world was given to us—to all of us—by God so that we could share it and share of ourselves.
This isn’t my world.
It isn’t your world.
It has always been God’s world, given to us to enjoy for the little span of years we are given.
Learning to share this world—and to share the hopeful message that peace is possible—is not a matter of personal preference. It’s not a choice. It’s not a hobby. It’s our purpose here as we walk the earth. Tikkun olam, the Jewish calling to repair the world, is our name for a collective mission we all share. And, while it may sound like a burden, that call to spread love and hope turns out to be the key to our happiness.
Without hope, there is no happiness.
And there is no hope if we are isolated, if we are excluded, if we pull away from our neighbors.
Hope is never mine.
Hope must be ours.
I guarantee that if you shine your light on the people you meet—you will find hope glowing all around you.
It’s true. Shining brightly makes the world a better place.
Publication Date: September 27, 2022
In Shining Brightly, Silicon Valley pioneer, cancer survivor and interfaith peacemaker Howard Brown shares keys to resilience for successful entrepreneurs, patient advocates and community leaders. He shows us how to reach out through our families, our communities and around the world to form truly supportive connections and friendships. From Howard’s career as a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, to his conquering metastatic stage IV cancer twice, to his compassionate outreach as a peacemaker, to his love of sports—this ultimately is not one man’s story. Shining Brightly is a story shared by countless men and women—and may wind up changing your life as well. With each true story he tells in the pages, Howard invites readers to picture how they might join him in shining more light in our world.
The author will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.
Howard Brown is an author, Silicon Valley entrepreneur, interfaith peacemaker, two-time stage IV cancer survivor and healthcare advocate. For more than three decades, Howard’s business innovations, leadership principles, mentoring and his resilience in beating cancer against long odds have made him a sought-after speaker and consultant for businesses, nonprofits, congregations, and community groups. In his business career, Howard was a pioneer in helping to launch a series of technology startups before he co-founded two social networks that were the first to connect religious communities around the world. He served his alma matter—Babson College, ranked by US News as the nation’s top college for entrepreneurship—as a trustee and president of Babson’s worldwide alumni network. His hard-earned wisdom about resilience after beating cancer twice has led him to become a nationally known patient advocate and “cancer whisperer” to many families. Visit Howard at ShiningBrightly.com to learn more about his ongoing work and contact him. Through that website, you also will find resources to help you shine brightly in your own corner of the world. Howard, his wife Lisa and daughter Emily currently reside in Michigan.
September 26: All the Ups and Downs
September 26: The Avid Reader
September 27: Rogue’s Angels
September 27: Westveil Publishing
September 28: Jerry’s Circumlocution
September 28: Straight From the Library
September 29: Splashes of Joy
September 29: BooksChatter
September 30: Fabulous and Brunette
September 30: Literary Gold
October 3: B-Gina Review
October 3: Novels Alive
October 4: It’s Raining Books
October 4: Let me tell you a story
October 5: Long and Short Reviews
October 5: The Faerie Review
October 6: Gina Rae Mitchell
October 7: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
October 7: Sandra’s Book Club
October 7: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews