What are the Odds?

1% of nothing is nothing. It’s a universal truth. If you have 1% of nothing, then you have nothing. So if that is true, then the opposite of that must also be true. 1% of something, then is something! But really? Is it really something? Ask a 30 year old woman who found her first gray hair, or a 15 year old boy who found his first chin hair! They will tell you. 1% can actually be something! We can see that relativity and perspective come into play. We could just leave it as 1% of something is something and be done with it, but our human brains, emotions, and intellect suggest otherwise.


If I told you that you had a 99% chance of winning the lottery, you would play. Of course you would. But if I told you that you had a 1% chance of winning that lottery you probably wouldn’t. You still have a chance of winning, but here is where intellect weighs in. Your choice, when it comes to playing the odds can definitely just be a numbers game. Where is the threshold of those percentages when it comes to choices and decision making? Is it 90/10? Is it 80/20? Those seem to be fairly easy. But what if it was 60/40? Now you’re a breath away from what a friend of mine called a coin flip. Heads you win. Tails you lose.

coin flip

Here’s where I think numbers are no longer the leading factor, or at least cannot be looked at in a vacuum. What if your odds of getting the lead role in a major motion picture was 60/40. You’d try out, right? I mean, you virtually have a 50/50 chance of getting the part! It could be the choice of a lifetime! What if your odds of burning down your house by leaving a candle lit were also 60/40? You’d probably not take the chance and would blow the candle out before leaving the house.

blow out a candle

This time we see that circumstance factored with the numbers plays a role in helping us to make decisions. But it’s not always that simple. There’s also the element of emotion and faith. I am a religious person, but you may not be, so faith for you may simply mean faith in yourself to be prepared, and do your homework so that you can nail that job interview.

people coffee meeting team
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

Bear with me with some more religious examples, if you will. I promise they are not too painful. Are you like Abraham, who through blind faith was willing to sacrifice his son as a sign of obedience? Or on the flip side, are you more like the hiker begging for God to save him, but doesn’t have enough faith to cut the rope? Do you know these stories?

Here, let me just catch you up really quickly.…..

Abraham was told by God to bring his only son to the altar to be sacrificed. Abraham obeyed. Brought his son to the altar, even made him carry the firewood, and was prepared to slay his son in obedience. But God, seeing Abraham’s willingness said, “Yeah, nevermind. You’re good. Thanks for playing and obeying. You win!” Son was saved (but probably really pissed.)

The other story goes like this….

There is a hiker who is looking to make camp and it has already grown very dark. He loses his footing and falls off a cliff. After falling and falling for what seems like forever, the rope he was carrying catches in the face of the cliff and jerks him to a stop preventing him from hitting the ground. It’s pitch black by this time and he has no idea how far he has fallen, or how far down the ground is. He calls out to God, “Oh God, please save me!” A whispered voice returns to him, “Cut the rope.” He ignores the voice. That’s crazy! I am not cutting the rope! The temperatures began to drop. The hiker calls out again, “Oh God, please save me!” Again he hears the whisper, “Cut the rope.” The hiker thinks there is no way in hell that I’m cutting this rope. It is the only thing that is saving me and keeping me from plunging to my death.

The next day, the rangers discover the hiker suspended from his rope.   He has frozen to death over night. They proceed to cut his body down just 5 feet from the ground.

ball casino chance gamble
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Ok, do you have that blind faith of Abraham or are you more like the hiker? In Abraham’s mind he had 100% chance that he was going to have to kill his son in order to remain obedient. In the hikers mind, he had a 50/50 chance of cutting that rope and continuing to plunge to his death. God did not tell him cut the rope and you will have a 100% chance of survival or even a 90% chance.


So here we are. Now the numbers, and the circumstances, and faith are all throwing their hands in the mix. So let’s go back and look as some situations. The lottery again. What would be your threshold to play? 80/20? Would you play at 60/40? What about applying for a job? At 60/40, would you send your resume? Now what if it was cancer. 60/40. Do nothing and there is a 40% chance that you will develop cancer. Would you play? Would you cut the rope?


On the eve of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I honor all of the women who have suffered from this horrible disease.  I honor all of the women who have suffered through the choices that they are forced to make.  And I honor all of the husbands, families and friends of these women for enduring the potpourri of emotions right along side.

If you haven’t already, schedule your mammogram.  Take care of your “girls”.

breast cancer ribbon

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