Little Yes’s, Little No’s

Thanks to one of my most lasting teachers, I’m learning a lot these days about little yes’s and little no’s. To be in the joy of little yes’s and little no’s. To be in the simplicity of little yes’s and little no’s. To be in the now, the present moment, of little yes’s and little no’s.

I love the freedom to feel removed from gigantic yes’s and gigantic no’s. Not forever. Because those matter too. And, not avoiding or denying or fearing the gigantic. But rather, to become unensconced for a time being. And, yes, here’s the deep learning — to know that little yes’s and little no’s corded to a clear and enduring value, have a way of revealing intricate and powerful life.

I’m thinking of what it must be like to be a sculptor. Yes, there are some broad chunks to be hammered away, but the bulk of the work is in tiny chisels and buffings adhered to a vision. I’m thinking of what it is like to paint a large landscape. Again, though there are important broad strokes, the painting emerges from thousands of tiny touches of brush.

I suppose that what is behind this learning for me is a continued desire for liberation of thought, heart, and intuition. Little yes’s and little no’s offer some respite from rather noisy and cacophonous insistence that is patterned to 21st century living. So much of the unchecked masculine in the world goads us with insistences of more. Or of bigger. Or of broadly scaled everything. When for most of us, it is our little offerings and commitments compounded over the years that reveals the remarkable.

I’m thinking of the way that a value like kindness shows itself as culture over the years in our lives. It’s not that all of us are meant to become a grand tada. But there is a way that little acts of kindness grow to galaxy — the little yes to hold the door open for the person behind you; the little no to stepping on the ants crawling across the sidewalk. The little yes to shovel snow for the neighbors without being asked. The little no to amplifying an unfounded bit of gossip.

Little yes’s and little no’s reveal who we are. They confirm who we are. They nudge us into what we wish to become. Little yes’s and little no’s fractal us into our broader being. As who we are individually and as who we are in groups.

So, today, my ode is to the tasty freedom and beauty of little no’s and little’s yes’s. My ode is to one step here and one step there. My ode is to the power of little yes’s and little no’s that interrupt harm and that amplify another choice in how any of us offer the good that we have to the times and circumstance in which we live.

Little is also a choice, and sometimes a surprisingly big one.

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