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The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter

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Yes, and . . .
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# 08 / 40 – March 2007

The 77% Weekly
Dear Greetings!

The 77% Weekly: The Religion-Outside-The-Box Newsletter helps people find and be with (the) God (of their understanding) 40
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Yes, and . . .

“Yes, and three shoes.”

A life lesson from Improv.

Last August, I was recruited to play some Improv games – the type that have been made popular by the show Who’s Line is it Anyway.

Not knowing much about the topic, I asked everyone I knew who might have some expertise in the subject what he or she thought the most important things would be for me to keep in mind.

Repeatedly, the advice I was given was to always say ‘yes, and . . . .’

Everyone agreed that I should avoid saying “no” because it would inevitably shut the scene down, thus ending the fun.

I was told, for example, if someone in a scene said to me, “You certainly love guacamole!” my response should be, “Yes, and . . .” and then I should add some new information.

Here are two examples:

  • “Isn’t this the best zoo you’ve ever visited?”
  • “Yes, and the orangutans here sure are the tastiest!”
  • “Do you want some ice cream?”
  • “Yes, and three shoes . . .”

I quickly realized that this tip wasn’t only useful for improvisations – it was a life lesson too.

The word “no” really puts a stop to things.

Look at the difference between these two responses:

  • “Do you like the soup?”
  • “No, it needs salt.”
  • “Do you like the soup?”
  • “Yes, and I could use some salt.”

When someone tells me that they want something or asks me a question, I have the option to affirm them or to shut them down. I know when I’ve been in their shoes that the former is much more pleasant.

How about making a commitment to test this out for a little while?

(You already know the answer, it’s “Yes, and . . . “)

With love,

Rabbi Brian

And, if you care to, click here to see comments on the streetprophets site where this article went up last week.

And, if I could ask…

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Rabbi Brian


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