“Year of Yes”

“If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, then stop accepting crap and demand something more.” –Christina Yang, Grey’s Anatomy

The magnificent creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and executive producer to How to Get Away with Murder all share one thing in common…Shonda Rhimes. She has become a household name and is the super woman behind these hit television shows that own Thursday nights! Aside from being a producer, screenwriter, owning a production company ‘Shondaland,’ and being a mother to three girls, she is also the author of the book, ‘Year of Yes.’ When a person has that much going on it makes sense that Rhimes would say no to anything outside of writing for her Thursday night hits. Although Shonda is a busy woman that wasn’t the sole reason why she continued to turned down opportunities, but I’ll explain that a bit later.

Rhimes prefer to being behind the camera, why, because she’s a liar and she enjoys every second of it. Shonda Rhimes admits to the thrill of making things up in the opening of her book, “I’m a liar. And I don’t care who knows it. I make stuff up all the time.” Now before you freak out about that statement and boycott her shows, she gets paid to make stuff up…she writes for the shows that keeps her audience on the edge of their sofas every week. Now here’s the real reason Shonda use to skip out on opportunities, because she’s extremely shy! Rhimes explains in her book how much of an introvert she is, having panic attacks before television appearances, and saying ‘no’ to anything that involved her being the center of attention. Then on Thanksgiving Day 2013, Deloris, Shonda’s sister mumbled six simple words “you never say yes to anything.” Shonda, being the brilliant person that she is, decided to challenge herself and for one year said YES to everything that scared her.

“Year of Yes,” is a journey of how Shonda Rhimes transformed from saying “NO” to all things that scared her to saying “YES” to all things that scared her. That meant one day giving the commencement address to Dartmouth University in front of thousands upon thousands of people and even appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, something that the old Shonda wouldn’t have done. I think this is a book that many people around the world could benefit from, because it challenges people to stop living life afraid of the unknown and to stop being comfortable in the place they are familiar with. As 2017, is slowly starting to come to a close this is the perfect time for those that want a change in their life to take on the “Year of Yes” challenge for 2018.

“New year, new me,” will be the statement that will be circulating around social media on January 1, 2018, so why not really mean it this time by doing something you’ve never done before? Do you feel like your life is a little stagnate, do you feel like you haven’t accomplished anything, still feel like you are the same person you were a year ago? If you answered yes to any of these it’s probably because you’ve been living your life in your little bubble that most called “a comfort zone.” A person’s comfort zone is a place that is familiar and nothing bad can come from it if a mistake happens. However, guess what, nothing extraordinary can happen from it either. So, with that being said I’m giving you a homework assignment, but don’t worry it’s not due until December 31, 2018.

I want you to go out and buy a notebook, and throughout the year write down every scary opportunity that is offered to you. Of course, you said yes to it because you’re participating in the “Year of Yes” challenge, right? Write down what was going through your mind when the opportunity presented itself and your experience after you completed it. At the end of the year reflect on what type of year 2018 was for you. I guaranteed it will be your most fulfilling year yet.
Good Luck!

‘The Parable of the Madman’

October 11th, 2017 – Students and Faculty alike packed into UC 217 to attend a PLACE lecture held by Dr. Doug Julien on Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘The Parable of the Madman‘. As was written on the whiteboard and as Dr. Julien affirmed, “It’s a lot for 50 minutes.”

He wasn’t wrong. In that short timeframe, Dr. Julien guided the audience through this segment of Nietzsche’s The Gay Science, wherein a raving madman claims that ‘God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.’. Dr. Julien spoke of the piece as a thought experiment, centered around two questions: Did we kill God and, if so, how did we do it?

As this piece is considered a thought experiment, a large part of the lecture focused on a thought experiment all its own – Time, illustrated best by a simple question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Dr. Julien points out that on the one hand, at a point in our history when Religion was the driving force of society and not Science, this question would be simple to answer. In the mind of Religion, God created the chicken and thus the chicken created the egg. In more modern times, however, there is the scientific concept of mutation and the proto-chicken. In the mind of Science, then, the egg was created first through some mutation in the ‘proto-chicken’, creating the chicken.

This age-old question, which of the two came first, illustrates how Time is a subjective concept. Think of Past, Present and Future. The Present is the ‘now’, the Past is everything before ‘now’ and the Future is everything to come. The point being, our perception of the world around us is constantly changing – in particular, to Religion or Science. “We believe Science but we do not trust Science.” Dr. Julien argued. “When everyone both believes and trusts Science, change occurs.”

Back to those two questions: Did we kill God? How did we kill him? The truth, much like whether you believe the chicken or the egg came first, is largely up to the observer – the individual. Do you believe God is dead? If so, how do you believe we killed him?

It bears repeating – “It’s a lot for 50 minutes.” Every member of the audience, myself included, very well got something different out of Dr. Julien’s lecture. In talking to him afterward, I believe this was the point. “Everyone will arrive to their own, individual Truth – and this Truth will, by nature, be flawed. Only by talking with one another can we arrive at the same conclusion.”, he told me.

It’s a dialectic – an integral process of any proper discourse – that answers these questions. Perhaps whatever time Dr. Julien didn’t have for this discussion, we now have in spades.