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Second Chances

Finding Power in the Comeback

‘Karen and Jay share their insights and experiences in giving and receiving second chances.’

Have you ever had situation when you had to ask yourself the question: ‘Should I give this person a second chance?’ Perhaps they had failed at an important task – or had thoroughly failed to live up to expectations in a very obvious way. And you found yourself pondering – what should I do – does this person deserve a second chance? Then, you go ahead – extend the second chance – and something miraculous happens. Not only does the person find success on this additional attempt, but both of you grow in the process. Experiencing the magic of a second chance.

The gift of second chances is a powerful and transformative force that allows individuals to overcome adversity, learn from mistakes, and achieve redemption. Whether in personal relationships, professional endeavors, or societal contexts, second chances offer hope, forgiveness, and the opportunity for growth and renewal.

Throughout history and popular culture, numerous figures have demonstrated the remarkable success that can arise from being given a second chance. One such example is Nelson Mandela, who, after spending 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid activism, emerged as a symbol of reconciliation and unity in post-apartheid South Africa. Mandela's ability to forgive his oppressors and work towards building a democratic and inclusive society exemplifies the transformative power of second chances in fostering reconciliation and healing.

Similarly, in the world of entertainment, Robert Downey Jr. serves as a compelling example of someone who has benefited from being given a second chance. Despite facing personal struggles and legal troubles earlier in his career, Downey Jr. staged a remarkable comeback, re-establishing himself as one of Hollywood's most respected and beloved actors. Through determination, sobriety, and a commitment to his craft, Downey Jr. not only resurrected his career but also became an inspiration to others grappling with addiction and adversity.

In personal relationships and everyday life, the gift of second chances fosters empathy, compassion, and understanding, strengthening bonds, and fostering reconciliation. Whether in forgiving a friend's mistake, reconciling with a family member, or giving oneself another chance after a setback, second chances enable individuals to heal wounds, mend relationships, and move forward with hope and resilience.

The gift of second chances is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the capacity for redemption and renewal. From historical figures like Nelson Mandela to modern-day icons like Robert Downey Jr., the success stories of those who have benefited from second chances remind us of the transformative power of forgiveness, perseverance, and the belief in the inherent worth and potential of every individual. As we navigate life's challenges and opportunities, let us embrace the gift of second chances with gratitude, humility, and a commitment to learning and growth.

So, as we always like to say here at the Sunshine Report – it’s positive energy, that inspires positive change – that produces positive results. And this is never more apparent that when we experience success when being given a second chance!

The Compounding Effect – Lift One Person Up!

Were you ever given a second chance? If so, did it lift you up? Of course, just the act of being given a second chance lifts someone up. What about being that person who gives someone else a second chance and lifts them up?

What happens when you lift one person up? What is the return on that investment? Perhaps that one person whom you lift up will think highly of you, or they may even repay you in some way. It could be that having the satisfaction of having helped to improve their life is reward enough. Is that as far as it goes though?

You lifted someone and were lifted up yourself in the process. Now two people have been lifted. One is doubled. How powerful can the ripple effect of that be? I always like to think about the story of the penny being doubled. Would you rather take a briefcase with $1 million today or get a penny today, with the guarantee that it would be doubled every day for a full month?

The cool million sounds like a lot more. How much would a penny doubling really matter? Well, by the 3rd day, it’s only 8 cents. By the 20th day, it’s about $10,000. By the 27th day, it’s finally breaking the $1.2 million mark. In most Februarys, you walk away with more than $2.4 million by being patient. With this leap year, close to $5M. Four months of the year, as we all learned "30 days hath September, April, June, and November", it’s nearly $10 million.

The other seven months, which I would argue are "full" months, you end up with $20,000,000. I’ll wait a month for that as opposed to $1M today. Most people would, when they understand the big difference, and the power of that compounding effect. James Keller said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” I will take that further to say that when you lift just one person, you can’t help but be lifted up yourself in the process.

In that very act, you are doubling the number of people who are lifted. One becomes two, becomes three, and then that third lifted person lifts person number four. Does it happen in a linear way though? Once you get that wonderful feeling of lifting one person up, you want to do it again. If the inspiration is strong enough, those who are lifted will want to pay it forward and you get the doubling effect, and perhaps so much more.

Those who are spectators may get inspired to be part of the movement. You hear stories of people going through the drive-through who pay for the person behind them. Sometimes that act continues to a few more people. While it may sound nice, it’s pretty impersonal. Truly lifting someone up requires a little more than that.

It’s genuinely listening to them, looking them in the eye, asking if there is anything you can do to help them, or giving them a word of encouragement. It’s looking for something wonderful about the person (everyone has a good thing to be found) and letting them know that you recognize and appreciate it. For many, although it’s really not difficult to do, it may seem awkward.

It’s a little outside the average person’s comfort zone to actively seek out a way to lift up another person. It might even seem like you’re imposing on another by intervening with positive feedback. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even those who don’t seem to accept a compliment or give you a funny look when you put effort into doing something positive for them absolutely love it.

The fact is, it is outside of our comfort zones because it isn’t common…but it can be a lot more common. It starts with one person, deciding they want to lift one person up. Someone else, who gives me great praise and encouragement, inspired me to write this so that I can share it with you. What will you do with it?

Second Chance Employment: Unlocking Potential and Building Prosperous Communities

Giving someone a second chance is most often looked upon as a charitable act of giving. The truth is that in many cases, it is also a very wise decision economically. According to research conducted by JPMorgan Chase, the economic repercussions of employment challenges faced by individuals with criminal records are staggering, costing the U.S. economy between $78 and $87 billion annually. However, embracing second chance employment opportunities can yield profound positive effects on the broader American economy. By providing meaningful job opportunities to individuals with criminal backgrounds, businesses can tap into a vast and diverse talent pool that is often overlooked, simultaneously addressing the societal need for inclusive economic participation.

The benefits of second chance employment extend far beyond the individual level. Increased economic participation enables individuals and families to bolster their financial well-being and empowers communities to achieve stability. This ripple effect fosters thriving communities, consequently creating a conducive business environment for companies operating within them. Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and co-chair of the Second Chance Business Coalition (SCBC), emphasizes the importance of providing second chances, stating that it not only creates opportunities for millions but also helps employers discover top talent and strengthens communities.

Since its inception two years ago, the SCBC has emerged as a critical source of guidance and resources for companies seeking to establish second chance programs. Craig Arnold, Chairman & CEO of Eaton and co-chair of the SCBC, highlights the coalition's commitment to expanding its network of member companies and increasing its impact on the lives of individuals with criminal records across the United States.

Recent surveys conducted among SCBC member companies shed light on the progress and practices surrounding second chance employment initiatives. Key findings reveal that approximately half of participating companies track the number of individuals with criminal records they employ, with nearly three-quarters reporting that more than five percent of their new hires are second chance candidates. Furthermore, a significant majority of companies have reviewed or updated their HR policies to be more inclusive of second chance candidates and have established hiring programs or partnerships to recruit such individuals. Despite these advancements, challenges persist, with more than half of companies facing regulatory restrictions related to hiring individuals with certain types of conviction history.

There are all types of second chances in business, and while hiring those with criminal backgrounds is just one of them, all of us know someone (maybe even ourselves) who has benefited from some type of second chance. Second chance employment not only presents a moral imperative but also offers tangible economic benefits for businesses, communities, and the broader American economy. We need to continue breaking down barriers and providing opportunities not just for individuals with criminal backgrounds but also for those whose businesses may have failed the first or second time around. By reintegrating into the workforce, companies can drive positive social change while simultaneously unlocking the full potential of untapped talent.

Positive Profile of the Week: Representative Margaret Drye

This week we are delighted to highlight a great friend and tireless leader in the Granite State – Representative Margaret Drye. In fact, when I think of someone who is always willing to help people 24/7, and willing to work on new opportunities – even if takes a second chance, I think of Margaret Drye.

Margaret had a remarkable resilience and has benefited from her persistence and being given a second chance. In 2017, she ran in a special election for the House of Representatives but did not win. She ran again in 2018 and 2020, with her daughter in the adjacent seat but again did not win the seat (in 2020, she lost by less than one percent margin). Still, she persevered and in 2022, won! Margaret is now serving on the House Education committee.

Margaret is a woman who not only knows how to convert on a second chance – but who also steps up when needed. She is a forty-four-year resident of Plainfield, NH, who for over thirty years, home-schooled her nine children from kindergarten through high school. A dedicated homemaker, she has also always found the time to serve her community.

For the same last forty-four years, she has volunteered as an EMT with the Cornish Rescue Squad, the longest volunteer ever for the squad, helping her neighbors in their times of need.

In her early twenty’s, Margaret and her husband Rob, co-founded New England's first crisis pregnancy center. Later, she spent thirteen years as a member of the Board of Directors of Hanover Co-op, including two years as Chairman, over twenty-five years as the Sullivan County 4-H club leader, over forty-five years as a volunteer American Red Cross/American Heart Association CPR instructor, fifteen years President of the Meriden Bird Club, she is a member of the Leadership New Hampshire graduating class of 1996, as well as a graduate and former board member of the Vesta Roy Excellence in Public Service Series. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Eastern States Exposition (The Big E).

But she knows she can always do more to help her neighbors, as an elected official. She has held elected positions in her community including fifteen years as clerk of the Plainfield Village Water District and as a current Plainfield Cemetery Trustee. She is also a former member and chairman of the Plainfield Finance Committee and was co-chair of Plainfield's 250th Anniversary Celebration.

It's this spirit of volunteering, helping others and being a leader in her community that distinguishes Margaret. She serves as a role model – a positive force that inspires others and enriches the lives of all those around her. Thank you, Margaret, for all that you do!

Quotes of the Week: Second Chances

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." - Henry Ford

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." - Thomas A. Edison

"Fall seven times, stand up eight." - Japanese Proverb

“Every moment is a fresh beginning." - T.S. Eliot

"The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing." - Henry Ford


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