In recent months, three different men had something important to say about hope.  Each of these gentlemen is known for occupying a position of eminence in his field.  I’ve not had the privilege of meeting any of the three in person, but their message is one that my Indiana bankruptcy clients and readers of my Bankruptcy-in-Indiana blogs need to hear.

PIMCO founder Bill Gross is in the investment business.  In fact, Gross manages the world’s largest bond fund.  In talking about the economy (as quoted in AARP Magazine), Gross had this to say: “Loss of confidence is perhaps the most dangerous thing.  A patient with hope, most doctors will agree, has a better chance of recovery.”

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, religious leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun in New York City (I have a friend who’s a graduate of the school associated with the congregation) delivered a sermon in December entitled “When Trials And Tribulations Accumulate”.  Here’s what Lookstein had to say to his congregation about hope: “One must know how to sing in the midst of crisis, how to make sure that a crisis ennobles us rather than diminishes our humanness.”

The third gentleman is no longer with us.  Studs Terkel, author of “Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression”, died last October at age 96, but he left this message as a legacy for us all:  “The lesson of the Great Depression? Terkel asks. His answer might have been directed to my Indiana bankruptcy clients and to all those struggling under a burden of debt.  “Don’t blame yourself.  Turn to others.  Take part in the communiity.” Without hope, Terkel says, you can’t make it.  And, so long as we have that hope, he adds, we’ll be OK.

In one of my earliest blogs, I Never Thought I’d Be Here, I tried to bring a message of hope of my own.  “If you have to file bankruptcy to restore your financial health, don’t let embarrassment or scruples cause you to delay taking action.  You never thought you’d be here, but here you are.  This is the place and the time for making a new start.”