posted on: 4/14/2013 5:28:35 PM EST
Can You Say "Yes" to "No"?
Negative vs Positive, negativity, Abraham Lincoln, "Killing Lincoln", rhetorical no

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Today we swim in the sea of “No” and we don’t like it.

Recently we have had our share of natural disasters, increasing poverty levels, unemployment that is at its highest in decades, and people fighting to keep their houses, feed their kids and stay afloat. We are in hard economic times. These facts don’t even include the moral decay of our culture and violence in society. Not to mention your own personal struggles. Dark clouds are everywhere!

You don’t have to teach a toddler to say this short word. He learns to say, “NO” almost immediately and repeats it countless times a day – maybe because he hears it from his parents so often. So through the years our attitude to “no” becomes…. Well negative.

However, the negative has tremendous power in our lives and in our language. Many writers employ the rhetorical use of “no” in their work to make a point. Statesmen and politician also often utilize it in their speeches to emphasize their agendas. Remember President Kennedy’s famous speech where he put forth the challenge,” Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”

Recently, President Obama employed the negative during his push for gun control legislation: “Connecticut, this is not about me…It is not about politics …”

Steven Spielberg recent film, “Lincoln” and Bill O’Reilly’s book, “Killing Lincoln” among others have triggered a significant interest in President Abraham Lincoln. Many refer to Lincoln’s amazing use of negation to persuade Congress and the citizenry to action on the issue of slavery.

The Wall Street Journal notes that Lincoln’s:
“Rhetorical efforts were in the service of resisting both the expansion of slavery and the destruction of the Union. This resistance gave his negative constructions a ‘moral focus.’ Can anyone deny the moral focus of his famous words, “If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong?”

In the Scriptures, the negative also shapes our view of morality. Many books of the Bible utilize the negative as a rhetorical device. Eight of the Ten Commandments use negative constructions…: “Thou shall not…” But is the negative always bad?

May be we should resist the toddler’s mentality and see the positive in the negative. Can we say, “Amen” and “yes” even to the negative moral commandments of the Creator? It just might arrest the moral decay in our modern culture.

How can utilizing the negative positively impact your business culture? Note: Every negative thing is your life has the opportunity to become a double blessing. Darkness can give way to sunshine!(If you live in Florida, you know what I mean)

For a business that teaches you to see and say “yes” in “no” visit and join today!

BUSINESS OWNER COMMENTS:     leave comment
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Stephen Edgecombe    1033 day(s) ago
Thanks Lonnie. We can turn negatives to positive. Wow, what a concept!
Lonnie E. Shipe, M.A.    1033 day(s) ago
And we must learn from our mistakes.

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