This past weekend, I had to throw the equivalent of a wedding reception for an event at my daughter’s school. Suddenly, everyone else who was on the board had other commitments. It’s not that I had no commitments but I decided instead of worrying I would step forward. Or, at least I wouldn’t take one giant step backwards with everyone else.
Recently, at another event at my daughter’s school – yes, I live there these days – a senior made a speech about her future endeavors. She said instead of saying “no” or “yes, but” she decided that she would say “yes and.” The words “yes and” leave us open to possibilities. “Yes but” is basically a form of no. Maybe not a complete 'no' but a wimpy way of saying “I don’t really want to do this because of this-this-and-this but I will if I have to.” A “but” in the statement closes doors. An “and” opens you up to possibilities.
I thought about this in context to the reception I just planned and executed. It was difficult, scary and hectic. But it turned out beautifully. I made connections with people I would not have otherwise. I stretched myself to try new things. But most importantly, I did it. I said “yes and.”
There’s wisdom in the enthusiasm and energy of the young. It goes to show you that life lessons are everywhere if you’re really listening. And remembering the “and” that follows the “yes.”