Notes on Yes

They say you should never meet your heroes. I think sometimes you should never read about them either because while the message of Shonda Rhimes’ “Year of Yes” was loud and clear, it was a little too loud. She is definitely a TV writer. I could hear the words being screamed off the page. 

But despite the shrillness of her delivery, I get the liberating message behind Shonda’s declaration of empowerment and self-actualization by saying yes to fear, to new experiences, to speeches, to balls, to the trips where life takes you with all it’s joyful turbulences. I get it. But it still feels so foreign.

Saying yes takes money and time and a mattress you can fall back on. Many have none of those things. I hate the term “Carpe diem” with a passion, largely because the extremism with which it is often applied means the activities to which it attributes itself tend to be equally extremist; usually expensive or dangerous.

The concept of living only for today seems like a slogan for the entitled and the free and so are the increasingly similar choices found in people’s carpe diem buckets: Bungee jumping, traveling the world, getting married, buying a house, buying a car, starting a company. Having the power to say yes to anything, really, is a luxury that many others cannot even envision let alone take advantage of. Given the scarcity of yesses in the world, doesn’t saying yes to something warrant more thought than a reflex or a new year’s resolution?


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