Yes, dear friends. It’s been a hard couple weeks. The news seems to come on black wings, worries sprouting like weeds, covering up optimism like kudzu on an old barn. It may look green, but if you have to chop that stuff down – NOT. PRETTY.
There’s been a lot of “Not Pretty” going around. More than enough.
So, where do I go from there? You can’t change the news – opinion may be open to alteration, but facts aren’t. I can try to ignore the huge hurricane boiling up off the Texas coast, but that won’t change its course or its impact. The rain and wind are going to hit, whether or not I am pleased by it. [And if you’re in the path – wishing you safe and well.]
There’s a phrase I recently learned from some reading I’m doing for my work, “Yes, and…” It’s a phrase used in improv to keep the scene moving when the dialog goes from one actor to another. In the last few days I’ve been wondering, can we use it to maintain a conversation in real life. Even in hard conversations about the things that can divide us. “I am worried that if we develop that wild area, we will lose something irreplaceable.” “Yes, and I’m worried that if we don’t have new sources of revenue, I will lose my job.”
“Yes, and” is inclusive. It says “Yes” – I hear you. I acknowledge you. I acknowledge your words. It also says “And” – in addition to your thought – not in spite of, not in opposition to, not because I get to decide that you’re wrong – here is what I am thinking.
“Yes, and” says that we both have a stake and we’re coming to the table together. Wouldn’t that be awesome?
Here’s a “Yes, and” story that warmed my heart in the last week: There’s a new solar power company in Washington, DC., that is training young workers to install solar panels by having them work to install them on the homes of low-income seniors. The effort is described in a Washington Post story. It’s the quintessential “Yes, and” moment. They’re installing solar panels, which capture clean energy. Yes, and providing new workers with skills that will be needed. Yes, and the panels are going on the homes of elderly people who live on fixed incomes and worry about being able to pay bills and keep warm. So their bills will be much less. And they meet the young people who are changing their community. Win. Win. Win. Win. How freakin’ cool.
Yes, and – I will take some more of that!
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!
My new story collection is now available: Dog Days . I’d love to hear your thoughts if you check it out!