“Hello. May I speak with Alexandra Franzen?”
The woman on the other end of the line sounded weary and beaten down, like she’d been riding a Greyhound bus through Hades for the past fifteen days.
“Speaking,” I said.
I knew, already, that this was some kind of fundraising or tele-marketing call.
Part of me wanted to preempt the whole conversation by saying, “Look, I’m not interested. Please take me off your list.”
But a small part of me said, “Just listen”.
The woman launched into a pre-scripted monologue about the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.
She spoke to me about her work, which includes walking door to door to talk to people about each person’s right to marry the one they love.
She told me, too, about her sister — a lesbian — who had committed suicide after experiencing excruciating bullying in school.
She could have stopped after the first 10 seconds or so. She had me at the word “love.”
“Can I count on you for a donation, today?”
She paused after making her request, and I could practically hear the “cringe” in her voice. The cringe of a hundred NO’s, slapping down hard like a ruler on your wrist. Or worse: phones just clicking… dead. Goodbye. The end.
But I said:
She sounded stunned.
“Yes, I’d be honored.”
“WOW!” she exclaimed. Her voice cracked. She sounded close to tears. If I had to guess, I’d bet this was her first “YES” of the entire week. Maybe the month. Maybe ever.
We had a short, lovely conversation as she collected my payment and email details.
“Thank you for your donation,” she finished.
“Thank you for the work that you do. Don’t give up.”
I hung up the phone and began sobbing — instantly reliving all those moments in my life where I, too, had prayed for that kind of sacred YES.
Yearning for just one person, anyone, to say… YES. I believe in you, and all that you do.
It felt so full-circle, so perfect, to be able to send that kind of YES back into the ‘verse — this time, for somebody else.
You can’t always be the one who says YES, of course. In fact, sometimes it’s essential to say NO. Sometimes you don’t have the money, or the manpower, or the time, or the emotional bandwidth, or the necessary skills, or the desire.
Not every YES is yours to give. Not every battle is yours to fight.
But when you CAN be the one who says “YES”…
Do it. Make someone’s day. Hell, make someone’s decade.
Be the One. It’s a YES you will never regret.