Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Yes, and (part 2)

Anyone who has been in a theatre/improv class might recognize the title of these posts. It's the most basic rule of improv, sometimes the only rule of improv - if someone gives you something, you must respond "yes, and". Not literally necessarily, but with your actions. If in improv I tell you, "My god, there's a snake on your head!" the proper response is never "No, it's a ____" because then you just killed the momentum. It's perhaps, "Yes, it's the new style. Do you like?" or maybe "So that's where I put it!" Perhaps these are particularly non-funny examples but it demonstrates the ability to keep the flow going and developing, rather than stopping it.
The reason I chose this as the title is because I've known a lot of people for whom "yes, and" is a way of life. These people don't let fear or anger guide their life. They roll with the punches, realize that life is a mixed bag, and continue to be their best regardless of the situation. A friend of mine likes to flirt back with unattractive men; for her, it's not about fear of what she is inviting or an ego that says he is beneath her - it is merely taking the situation and saying "yes, and." She is a very courageous woman who has lived with a lot more hardship than I can begin to know of, yet she is fearless. I think the "yes, and" response to life tends to draw more out of life and lets you live more confidently. I often admire her and try to emulate her, but I live with a lot of fear. No excuse, just fact.
What does all this have to do with race? I think if it was applied to the lines we draw between ourselves, it would allow us to be a little braver. "Yes, I'm white, and..." "Yes, I'm Hispanic, and..." No stereotype of any race will ever be enough to hold the complexity and wonders inside a person. Losing cultural identity and becoming homogenous isn't a valid solution to being able to relate. This approach allows for bridges between what might seem like vast cultural divides. It gives people who might be trying to give up their prejudices something to work on besides just the skin color they can see. It's also a little more forgiving to someone who might be trying to change but is at the shaky beginnings.

1 comment:

Brian said...

These gents are on the right track, trust your intuition. It doesn't require an expert to see that if the public becomes the de facto owner of the banks through nationalization, they can also be the de facto buyers and sellers on the open market. The suggestion here is to create a real market of banks to undo the consolidation that caused all of the cartel activities that led to the financial crisis.