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Good News – We Agree!!!

A Broad Swath of Common Ground...

'Karen and Jay share insights on the uplifting thought that, as Americans, there is so much more that unites us than divides us.’

Time to share some very good news. Turns out that we as Americans are in general agreement on a wide range of issues – including the vast majority of political topics as well as our core values. All of this despite what you might be feeling if you’re simply following the news or tuned in to social media.

On the one hand, this may come as a bit of a surprise, as the level of bitterness and divisiveness in our discourse has dramatically intensified in recent years. On the other hand, however, when you take a step back and think about it – it’s really not surprising at all. Deep down, we all care about the same basic things: raising our families, educating our kids, living in a safe place, working at our jobs, being part of our communities, being able to enjoy our lives and more.

This is not just my observation, but in fact, there is substantial empirical evidence supporting the existence of a broad consensus of Americans in sharing similar views and priorities, regardless of their political affiliation or demographic background.

For instance, a recent survey conducted by AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that greater than 80 percent of all Americans believe that certain rights and freedoms are ‘extremely important’ or ‘very important’ to our country’s identity. Among these consensus issues – where many even scored with greater than 90 percent agreement are:

  • Right of everyone to equal protection under the law

  • Right to vote

  • Freedom of speech

  • Right to privacy

  • Freedom of religion

  • Right of people to assemble peacefully

Moreover, this existence of general agreement is even more apparent on the local level. In numerous conversations with people across a wide variety of communities, I have consistently found an awareness of the fact that most people are in agreement. It’s simply the accentuation and amplification of disagreement and controversy – stoked by many in the media that creates the impression of a divided country.

So, let’s celebrate this existence of common ground. It means that the next time you meet somebody on the street or perhaps bump into them at the grocery store – more likely than not – you are going to agree on the vast majority of issues and values. You can be relaxed, upbeat and engage in friendly conversation. You can open up and find a kindred spirit to bond with. And, when you begin to engage this way, good things just seem to happen.

I encourage you to accentuate the positive and focus on the areas of shared agreement. Serendipity is likely to abound. Turns out – that swath of common ground is much broader than you probably think!

Community Spirit of ‘Doing Good’ 

One area where we all find common ground is through or participation in community service organizations.  As Alexis de Tocqueville said, we are a ‘nation of volunteers.’

Community organizations like Rotary clubs, Lions Clubs, and Children of Fallen Patriots play a vital role in fostering unity, providing support, and making a positive impact in communities, not only in New Hampshire but across the country. These organizations serve as pillars of strength, bringing people together for common causes, while responding to various societal needs.

Rotary Clubs, with their motto “Service Above Self,” have been instrumental in addressing community challenges for over a century. In New Hampshire, Rotary Clubs engage in a wide range of activities, from organizing fundraisers for local charities to spearheading community development projects. For instance, Rotary Clubs often support initiatives like literacy programs, food drives, and environmental conservation efforts. These activities not only benefit the community directly but also foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie among members and volunteers.

Similarly, Lions Clubs International, known for its commitment to serving the visually impaired and the broader community, has a significant presence in New Hampshire and beyond. Lions Clubs organize vision screenings, provide eyeglasses to those in need, and support eye-related research and treatment. Additionally, Lions Clubs engage in various community service projects, such as disaster relief efforts, youth programs, and environmental initiatives. Through their service-oriented approach, Lions Clubs bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds to work towards common goals, thereby strengthening community bonds.

The Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation plays a unique role in supporting the families of military personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice. By providing scholarships and educational assistance to children who have lost a parent in active military service, this organization helps alleviate financial burdens and ensures that these children have access to educational opportunities. Beyond financial assistance, Children of Fallen Patriots creates a supportive network for these families, connecting them with resources and fostering a sense of community among those who share similar experiences.

The impact of these community organizations extends beyond their immediate beneficiaries. By bringing people together through service-oriented activities and events, these organizations create a ripple effect of goodwill and collaboration throughout the community. They serve as catalysts for positive change, inspiring others to get involved and make a difference in their own way.

Moreover, the collaborative efforts of these organizations often lead to partnerships with local businesses, government agencies, and other community stakeholders. Through these partnerships, they can leverage resources, expertise, and networks to amplify their impact and address complex issues more effectively.

In New Hampshire and across the country, the contributions of Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, and Children of Fallen Patriots are invaluable in strengthening communities, fostering unity, and creating a brighter future for all. By embodying the spirit of service and compassion, these organizations exemplify the power of collective action in making the world a better place for everyone – as well as bringing us together in uniting for a common cause.

Serendipitous, Spontaneous Acts of Goodwill

There are a couple of sayings that state a great truth – about the need for spontaneous, ‘ad hoc’ and immediate action.   You’ve probably heard these: 

  • "Life is what happens while you're making other plans."

  • "There is no time like the present."

  • "Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." 


With that in mind, let's explore some examples of spontaneous good – in other words, people choosing to simply do it now.  For example, my dear friend Kelly Dyer is known for being great at getting the word out about businesses, non-profits, events - you name it. So, when one of her co-workers approached her, asking if she could help promote the fact that she needed a kidney transplant to save her life, she said she would do it. Not just promote it to look for a donor, she stepped right up to be the donor herself. That's an amazing example of spontaneous good. The opportunity presented itself, and Kelly took full advantage of literally giving the gift of life. 

And how about Bill Athanas, former Franklin High School Assistant Principal. He had retired recently from another school and driving by Franklin High one day looked at the old sign out front with the plastic letters that had to be put up one at a time in all sorts of weather. Bill decided that he had $35,000 and right then and there, committed to sponsoring a brand-new digital sign for the high school. He didn't plan it out, he simply made the decision, spoke with the school, and the sign is now on order. 

On the national scale, Dave Portnoy, founder of media company Barstool Sports, decided in the middle of the Covid pandemic to start the Barstool Fund. The idea was that he started by putting in a half million dollars in order to help small businesses, particularly restaurants, to survive the economic upheaval. His efforts grew and inspired several other businesses and philanthropists to follow suit. Eventually, the federal government created the Cares Act, which provided the billions of dollars of relief that Dave had called for when he spontaneously started his idea, not knowing how far and wide it could actually reach. 

Dr. Jeff Rediger, wrote the book Cured: The New Science of Spontaneous Healing, which delves into what some would consider miracles. People who are diagnosed with terminal illnesses bring forth belief that they are healed right now and being healed–living healthy and disease free for many more years. 

There is certainly something to be said about the power of doing good right now, without hesitation. Whether that is to help others or to help your own body heal. At the Sunshine Report, we'd love to do a follow up article and share some examples you know about people doing good in a spontaneous way. Reach out to us at

Positive Profile of the Week:  Scottie Scheffler - More than a Great Golfer!

This week we are delighted to highlight someone who is not only a great golfer – but who also serves as a role model for many through his priorities and values.


Scottie Scheffler’s recent victory at the Masters not only showcased his exceptional golf skills but also highlighted his positive impact beyond the course. One notable aspect of Scheffler’s character is his dedication to charitable endeavors–particularly those supporting education and health.


In his hometown of Dallas, Scheffler has contributed to educational programs aimed at helping underprivileged youth access quality schooling. He has also been a supporter of health-related charities, promoting wellness and medical research. Scheffler’s involvement in these causes reflects his desire to give back to his community and make a difference in people’s lives.


Off the course, Scheffler’s personal life also reflects his values and beliefs. He is known for his strong faith as a Christian, actively participating in Bible study sessions with his caddie, Ted Scott. This spiritual connection extends beyond personal beliefs, as Scheffler values working with individuals who share similar principles, such as his decision to choose a caddie based on their shared faith.


Scottie’s devotion to Ted and his humility was on display on national TV this past Sunday.   Immediately after winning the tournament, Scottie was just about to do the ceremonial walk from the 18th green to the clubhouse – when it dawned on him that his caddie and trusted partner, Ted Scott had been left behind.  In an extraordinary act of selflessness and consideration – he stopped dead in tracks and with the entire world of viewers watching and waiting – Scottie called for Ted to come up and join him – so the two of them could share the magnitude of that ceremonial walk together.


Moreover, Scheffler’s engagement in activities like co-hosting retreats with fellow golfer Sam Burns for the College Golf Fellowship underscores his commitment to fostering community and supporting young athletes in their personal and professional development.


By investing in ventures like the Texas Ranchers pickleball team, Scheffler not only diversifies his interests but also contributes to the growth of sports outside traditional avenues, promoting teamwork and healthy competition.


On a personal note, during the recent Masters tournament, while in the midst of vying for the top spot on the leaderboard - he said that if his wife went into labor, he would leave the tournament to be by her side. And he didn’t stop there; because after winning the tournament, he said that he expects to spend less time with golf and more with his family after the baby is born. 



Scottie Scheffler’s success extends beyond his victories on the golf course, emphasizing his role as a philanthropist, mentor, and community advocate. His dedication to making a positive impact resonates with fans and showcases the values of integrity, compassion, and teamwork that define him as a champion both on and off the fairway.  So, this week – we are especially happy and proud to honor this year’s winner of the Master’s – Scottie Scheffler!



Quotes of the Week:  Good News - We Agree!!!

"Americans may have varying beliefs and opinions, but when it comes down to it, we all want what's best for our families, communities, and country." – Unknown


"In the end, we are all united by our shared humanity, our common values, and our desire for a better future for ourselves and our children." - Barack Obama

"Despite our differences, most Americans want the same things: a safe and prosperous future for their families, opportunities for success, and a sense of belonging in their communities." - Hillary Clinton


"Americans may have different backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences, but we are all bound together by our love for this country and our commitment to its ideals." - George H.W. Bush


"The American people are inherently pragmatic and solutions-oriented. We may have disagreements on how to achieve our goals, but we share a commitment to finding common ground and moving forward together." - Joe Biden


"At the end of the day, most Americans want the same things: a good job, a safe home, access to quality education and healthcare, and the opportunity to pursue their dreams." - Bernie Sanders


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