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An Abundance of Hope

The Power of Hope

‘Jack Potvin, Founder of Project Happy, Karen and Jay share thoughts on the power of hope and how having an abundance of hope can help in the accomplishment of miracles.’

When we experience hope, all things are possible. I suspect there have been times in your life when the world around you looked dark, maybe even seemingly hopeless.  But then somehow you found a glimmer, a flicker of hope on the horizon.  And, when this happened things started to change.  You took a step forward, mustering up the courage to do so. And your sense of hopefulness began to blossom, then evolving into full bloom. As the momentum continued, you felt as though anything seemed possible.  And, in truth, anything ‘was’ possible because you were in complete connection with the ‘power of hope.’


As experienced in your own life, having an abundance of hope can serve as a powerful motivator, propelling you to achieve dreams that may seem out of reach. Hope provides the driving force that keeps you pushing forward despite obstacles and setbacks. It instills a sense of possibility and optimism that fuels ambition and determination. With hope as a guiding light, you are more likely to take risks, work harder, and persevere through challenges, ultimately allowing you to soar to new and greater heights that you might not have thought possible.

And, beyond our own lives, we see this power illustrated by the remarkable stories of people who have overcome the greatest of obstacles.  Take for example the story of Helen Keller.  Despite being deaf and blind from a young age, Keller refused to be defined by her disabilities. With unwavering hope and determination, she overcame immense challenges to become a renowned author and activist, inspiring countless others to achieve their own dreams against all odds.

Similarly, Nelson Mandela is another iconic figure who exemplified the impact of hope on achieving extraordinary feats. During his long imprisonment, he never wavered in his belief that a better future was possible for South Africa. His steadfast hope and resilience not only sustained him through years of adversity but also inspired a nation to unite and strive towards reconciliation and progress.

At the Sunshine Initiative, we have also seen first-hand that the influence of hope is not limited to individuals but extends to entire communities as well. When communities come together with a shared sense of hope and purpose, remarkable transformations can occur. The American Sunshine Movement, with its mission to revitalize and spread positivity and a 'can do' mentality to small towns and communities across the nation, exemplifies this collective power of hope. By fostering a spirit of optimism and possibility, our Movement has the potential to not only change the trajectory of local communities but also to create a more hopeful and promising future for generations to come.

By embracing hope as a guiding force, the American Sunshine Movement seeks to ignite positive change on a larger scale, demonstrating the profound impact of a hopeful outlook on shaping the future of our society.  So, too, in your own life, especially when circumstances may seem bleak, I urge you to tap into the ‘power of hope’ and experience the magic that lies ahead.

Positivity and Hope in Our Communities 

Tagging along with the theme of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, famous speaker and minister, and in his book, 'The Power of Positive Thinking', let’s explore a movement of positivity that is spreading throughout New Hampshire. The abundance of hope bubbling up in cities and towns around our great state can be credited to the American Sunshine Movement and the efforts of the Sunshine Initiative. Born out of the town of Newport, NH, which has been nicknamed the Sunshine Town for the past 100 years or so, this initiative is all about community revitalization.

In various places, the “chicken or the egg” question seems to follow this abundance of hope phenomenon. People sometimes question whether it was someone’s optimism that first started a movement, or if the physical manifestation of new businesses, community centers, jobs, housing, dog parks, etc., fueled the excitement we are seeing in many places. Well, if you’re among the more than 50,000 readers who receive the Sunshine Report each week, you no doubt have heard that “it’s positive energy that inspires positive change, that produces positive results.” While it’s clear that it starts with positive energy, the positive results that are produced lead to more positive energy, creating a domino or snowball effect.

In the town of Newport, where it all began, there is a new dog park, a new community center being built, an old mill building being renovated into housing, major upgrades to the historic opera house, and many more improvements over the past few years. Positivity is contagious. The local golf course was in receivership with an out-of-state bank until a group of 13 local investors pitched in to buy it and have been improving it greatly over the past couple of years.

The Rochester Riverwalk Committee has been working hard on developing a Riverwalk Story and, of course, securing funding. The purpose of the Riverwalk is not just about cleaning up the Cocheco River and giving people access, but to bring life to the city of Rochester. “Our vision for the Rochester Riverwalk is a vibrant and inviting waterfront destination that celebrates our city’s natural beauty, enhances the quality of life for residents and visitors alike, and fosters a strong sense of community and connection.” The Committee’s most recent and ambitious project is the Overlook, which, when completed, will allow people to step out over the river and admire the beauty of how the river and city flow together as one. All of this brings hope to a community that is becoming more vibrant and full of life.

In Laconia, Claremont, Meredith, and the west side of Manchester, the beginnings of these positive changes are occurring with help from the American Sunshine Movement. Other towns and cities, not yet part of the movement, have had some success through local efforts as well. Franklin, with its whitewater rafting park and the new Military and Veterans center being built by Easter Seals, also boasts a refreshed downtown area. Littleton in the North Country offers far more than the world’s longest candy counter (at 112 feet). This wonderful town has attracted a large number of younger people, which is a significant accomplishment in an aging state and far from the larger metropolitan areas. Milford is another small town that is growing in popularity and has an abundance of hope for its future. Great things are just getting started!

We’d love to invite you to learn more about the American Sunshine Movement and how you can help.  To do so – please go to: and learn about the great things that are now in process to help individuals and communities across our great country achieve the wonderful potential that lies ahead.

 Cod Fish and Hope - A Strange, But Powerful Pair!

Here’s a shining example of where hope springs eternal and is continuing to energize an entire industry so vital to our region.  The fishing industry in New England has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability over the centuries, remaining a vital component of the region's economy and cultural heritage. From its early days in the 17th century to the present, New England's fishing industry has navigated numerous challenges, including resource depletion, regulatory changes, and market fluctuations. Despite these challenges, it continues to be a significant economic driver and a symbol of the region's enduring maritime tradition. The resilience of the fishing industry over the last couple of centuries has continued to inspire hope in the residents, illustrating the strength and tenacity of the local communities.


Cod fishing has historically been the cornerstone of New England's fishing industry. The region's cold, nutrient-rich waters, particularly in the Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank, have provided ideal conditions for Atlantic cod, making it one of the most sought-after fish. The importance of cod fishing was evident from the colonial era, where it fueled economic growth and facilitated trade. Salted and dried cod became a key export, linking New England to markets in Europe and the Caribbean. This trade not only supported the local economy but also helped finance the colonies' resistance against British rule. The ongoing success and adaptability of the industry are sources of local pride, fostering a deep connection to the maritime heritage that defines New England.


Fishermen in New England engage in a variety of activities to sustain their livelihoods. These include trawling, gillnetting, and lobstering, each requiring specific skills and knowledge of the marine environment. Cod fishing, in particular, has evolved with advances in technology and changes in regulatory frameworks designed to manage fish stocks sustainably. Fishermen often have to navigate complex regulatory landscapes, including quotas and seasonal restrictions, to ensure that their practices do not deplete fish populations. This adaptability not only showcases the industry's resilience but also reinforces the community's hope and determination to preserve their way of life.


The significance of cod fishing to New England's economy and identity was underscored during the Revolutionary War and its aftermath. The Treaty of Paris of 1783, which ended the war, included critical provisions that ensured American fishermen's access to vital fishing grounds. Article III of the treaty granted American fishermen the right to fish in the waters off Newfoundland and in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. This was a significant diplomatic victory, reflecting the importance of the fishing industry to the new nation's economic stability and growth.


Securing these fishing rights was essential for the recovery of New England's economy, which had been severely disrupted by the war and British blockades. The access to rich fishing grounds allowed fishermen to resume their activities, bringing much-needed economic relief and sustaining the coastal communities that had long depended on the industry. The inclusion of these provisions in the treaty highlighted the recognition by both American and British negotiators of the fishing industry's critical role.


Today, the fishing industry in New England continues to be a significant economic contributor, providing jobs and supporting related industries such as seafood processing, transportation, and tourism. The industry's perseverance is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of New England's coastal communities. While challenges remain, including the need for sustainable practices and the impacts of climate change, the fishing industry remains a vital part of the region's economy and cultural fabric. The enduring strength of the fishing industry continues to inspire hope among residents, serving as a powerful reminder of their shared history and collective fortitude.


Positive Profile of the Week:  Ben Doskocil - Hope is Everywhere – Speak Positively on Everything for 24 Hours

This week we are delighted to highlight a wonderful friend and powerful force for positivity and hope – Ben Doskocil.

In particular, we’d like to thank Ben, one of our Sunshine colleagues, for sharing these wonderful thoughts on the transformative power of hope and the inspiration from his mentor – Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. 

From Ben:  As Dr. Peale writes: ‘A wise doctor once told his family that “all things are possible for those who truly believe.” So many of humankind’s greatest accomplishments in science, business, battle, sporting events and healthcare had a humble beginning as a tiny mustard seed of hope in the heart and mind of a person with unwavering perseverance.  And these titans among humankind proved that what many saw as entirely impossible, could in fact be authentically accomplished!  Keeping hope not just alive, but healthy and abundant, is critical to maximizing our full potential and finding prosperity and real happiness in our lives.

As Ben then goes on to say, “Hope” can be defined as an optimistic state of mind that expects positive things to happen in the future.  Driving up Interstate 93 from Boston to New Hampshire this evening, I sat in my fair share of commuter traffic on the Zakim Bridge and then again at the Interstate 95 split.  I was in a hurry to assist my wife with the bedtime routine for our children, and out of frustration I began to run less than pious phrases through my mind about my fellow four-wheeled opponents as we all jockeyed for position in the race back home.  Luckily, during my angry quest for victory, I was reminded of an amazing life tip from the famous Dr. Norman Vincent Peale.  In his bestselling book The Power of Positive Thinking, Dr. Peale challenges his readers to speak positively on everything that happens during a full 24-hour day.  And so, in that moment of unease, I decided to set out to accomplish my mentor’s worthy demand.

I disengaged from the amazing race and instead began to run positive affirmations about my fellow countrymen as we embarked together on our journey home back to “live free or die” land.  I began to notice the different types of cars, trucks, and jeeps on the road.  I soon also noticed the beautiful colors and detailing of some of the vehicles and was warmed by the many bumper stickers on cars that saluted their children’s accomplishments.  Not long after this, I began to truly appreciate and run positive thoughts through my mind about the beautiful tall pine trees and the thick strong maple leaves on the branches that glistened in the setting sun.  As I passed the border into the Granite State, I thought of the many parents who, like I had earlier that morning, rose early and worked diligently throughout the day to support their children’s dreams.  Even more positive thoughts began flooding my mind about the sacrifices of our men and women in the armed services, our police, firefighters, and EMTs.  By the time I returned home, my heart was full of hope and gratitude as I rushed inside to hold my daughters in warm hugs and to specifically tell them how lucky I am to be their dad. 

It is absolutely amazing to witness and experience the significant and almost magical changes that living with perpetual hope can bring.  Sure, we will all backslide into a ball of nerves and maybe even a touch of anger at times when life throws its worst at us, but as my friend Norman challenged me and others in his book, I challenge you to speak positively on everything for 24 hours.  Give it a shot!  At first it may seem trite and a bit inauthentic, but if you grind out that full day of optimistic affirmations, hope will lead you to an amazing place.

We thank, Ben, for these inspiring thoughts – and urge you to give his 24 ‘challenge’ a try.

Quotes of the Week:  The Power of Hope

"Once you choose hope, anything's possible." — Christopher Reeve


"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." — Desmond Tutu


"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all." — Emily Dickinson


"Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today." — Thich Nhat Hanh


"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." — Martin Luther King Jr.


"Hope itself is like a star — not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity, and only to be discovered in the night of adversity." — Charles Haddon Spurgeon


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