Posts Tagged ‘choices


Just Say Yes

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about how people shouldn’t be afraid to say no. Now I’m wondering why people can’t just say yes. Example: Teenagers have gone nuts with the dating ritual. The other night while working, I heard a ruckus in front of my home. A peak out the window revealed three teenagers piling wheels on my front lawn. Perplexed, I wondered what was happening until I saw the sign: “Yes, I ‘wheel’ go to the dance with you.” Once informed that the person they were looking for didn’t live here anymore, they packed up their wheels, moving on to the right house, I assume.

The word yes is powerful all on its own. Why do we insist on wrapping it in a bunch of nonsense? Politicians are particularly skilled at avoiding a standalone “yes.”

Beyond the power of the word, “yes,” there’s also the potential of what can happen when one embraces the word. I was reminded of this when Chris Brogan pointed me to The Moth Podcast and the performance by Elna Baker, “Yes Means Yes?” (you can subscribe on iTunes). She explores what happens in her life when she starts saying, “yes,” and her experiences prove that life takes interesting turns when one looks for opportunities to say the magic word.

How much thought do we give to what we’re saying yes or no to? How much of our lives have we put on auto-pilot? Even more thought-provoking, why do we focus so much attention on areas that carry relatively little weight in the big scheme of things? Like the dating scenario I described earlier, when did asking for and agreeing to a something become so complicated? Why can’t we just say yes (or no)?


You Can Say No

Computer Sayes NoDo you sometimes believe that the only answer available to you is “yes?”

J.J. Toothman prompted this idea during our conversation after I posted Glossing Over History. In answer to another comment, I indicated that I wouldn’t be casting a vote for any presidential candidate. J.J. responded:

Wait a second, Britt. You said “I doubt I’ll vote for any of the presidential candidates” – are you saying you aren’t going to vote for any nominee from the 2 major parties, or are you saying you arent going to vote?

Here was my response:

…to clarify, I will vote in this election. There are important local and state offices up this election cycle. However, I choose to not cast a vote for any presidential candidate, major or minor party. For me, because I believe none of the candidates is truly representative of me, I can’t in good conscience give him or her my vote…So to sum up, I’m taking the opportunity to exercise my right to vote “no” by not voting for any presidential candidate.

Now, substitute any aspect of your life for voting in the election, and how often do you believe “yes” is the only option open to you?

For example, what if many of the individuals caught short in the recent housing upheaval had said no to the idea that everyone, in spite of their financial circumstances, should strive for home ownership? What if Bear Stearns had said no to playing in mortgage-backed securities? What if Americans ,with over 60% of the population classified as obese, said no to the fast food guy asking if they want to biggie-size their order?

Consider the prevailing attitudes that make it difficult to say no. People want to live in their own homes. Bear Stearns was doing what other investment banks were doing. For pennies more, you can get twice the food.

When are you saying yes when saying no might be an equally valid option and to your benefit?


(Photo courtesy of Vampire Bear. Some rights reserved.)

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April 2019
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