Yes, but ….

It's said quite often. Is that a problem? What's wrong with it?

Yes, but ….

In answer to a question, you hear it said very often:

Yes, but…

Do you ever get the creeps? At least I get that uncomfortable feeling.

It’s said quite often. Is that a problem? What’s wrong with it?

With me, the conversation between two businessmen that I heard years ago on an airplane always comes up. Those men were behind me and I couldn’t see them. Their conversation dragged on for a while until one of them answered:

Yes, but..

To which the other one said very decisively:

Why do you keep saying yes, but…? Then just say no, if that’s what you mean and not, “yeah, but…”

I immediately agreed with that last remark, because it makes me feel slightly annoying every time I hear someone say ‘Yes, but…’

I kept thinking about it, and different thoughts came up. One of them kept coming back, namely that the word ‘but’ detracts from the confirmation that lies in the word ‘yes’. It is becoming increasingly clear to me that ‘yes’ is a very positive word, in contrast to its opposite ‘no’. For some, their aversion to ‘no’ goes very far, considering also the book: Never Take No for an Answer and the film of the same name.

Of course, you can think that not everything in this world is black and white. And that with the word ‘but’ after the confirmation ‘yes’ you can add some nuances. That is a possibility and at the same time the reason why, in my search for the absolute, the unconditional, the ‘YES’, I have developed a considerable aversion to the word ‘but’.

This brings me automatically to the ‘all or nothing’. Anyone who is a little Bible-bound knows Matthew’s statement:

You cannot serve God and the Mammon,

or the unconditional:

All or nothing.   

The word ‘but’ to ‘yes’ really detracts from the ‘everything’ and brings the ‘nothing’ one step closer. Now you can understand why I remove the word ‘but’ from my vocabulary and that the three-letter word ‘YES’ is my favorite, so that:

My ‘yes’ is ‘yes’ and my ‘no’ is ‘no’.


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Date: March 12, 2020
Author: Watcher (Netherlands)
Photo: Gerd Altmann via Pixabay

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