Feeling disappointed, she tweeted out to the singer, ‘My 1st tweet goes to @jannarden . I am 30, was totally willing to go sit in the back by myself at your concert in Wpg, but when I saw the price of the cheapest tickets.. where can I sell my kidney. Your fan since 1995, Rita Gordon! Xoxo
To clarify, this was Rita’s first ever tweet. To further clarify, she was not trying to criticize Arden, or the prices of the concert. She simply wanted her favourite performer to know that she was her fan, and that she was disappointed to not be able to afford a ticket.
Hundreds of thousands of tweets are sent in a day. Whoops. I just looked it up. Five million tweets are sent per day! Statistically, this one, lonely tweet should have been sent, and then been absorbed into twitterland without another so much as a retweet or comment or cute emoji attached.
It just so happened that when the tweet was sent, it was read by another Jann Arden fan, Pauline Ehle, from Lloydminster, Alberta. When Pauline saw the tweet, she empathized with Rita. Pauline knew what it felt like to not have the money to go to see a concert featuring someone she really enjoyed. She said she had been in the same situation in the 1990’s when she was a new Arden fan. Pauline said, “At that time, I couldn’t afford to go to one of her concerts, so now I thought, ‘Well, I’m having a good month, why not?” Pauline bought a fourth row ticket and gave it to Rita!
Why not has been in the air this week. Jim and I went shopping to buy Jim some new dress pants. He needed to have the pants altered in length before bringing them home. The salesperson, when ringing us through the cash, asked if Jim wanted to have, for a small cost, a permanent crease put in the front and back of the pant leg. “Sure”, replied Jim. “Why not?”
Little Ben has been all over this expression too. In his case he really doesn’t fully understand it, but he when he has said a firm, ‘No’ to his dad, Matt often asks, ‘Why not?’ So now, if we ask Ben if he wants something and he does not, is answer is a firm, “No!”, followed immediately by a firm, “Why Not!” Jim and I have taken to using this expression too – NO, Why Not!
I loved the story about the Jann Arden fans. I loved it even more when I heard that when Jann Arden was made aware of the story, she immediately reached out to Pauline Ehle, and suggested they meet each other at her concert in Saskatoon. I’m imagining she might have thought, ‘Why not?’
There were so many possible things that Pauline Ehle could have done when she read the tweet by Rita Gordon. I simply loved that she not only had the idea she could buy and gift a ticket, but that she also thought, ‘Why not?’ and did it.
Clearly there are times in life when we think of a possibility and the answer needs to be no. But, there are so, so many other times in our lives when we have the opportunity to change the course of the ship we, or someone else is on. At those times, the answer could be, ‘Why not?’ Most times it doesn’t even require us to open our wallets. Usually, we won’t even have to go very far out of our way. Most often, we won’t make the news with our ‘why not’. But almost always, we’ll feel a bit lighter, a bit more like the better part of our self is steering the ship, and like we have some control over a small part of our life.
I’m trying to ‘why not’ this week. Why not let that signalling car into the lane in front of me? Why not send a message to a friend who has been on my mind? Why not risk applying for that position or program? Why not wear that flashy outfit? Why not try five minutes of meditation? Why not smile at a stranger? Why not smile at a friend or family member? Why not look into that adventure that has been calling? Why not?
Why not gets us out of our routine. It expands our world. It opens the door ever so slightly for the chance of something wonderful to happen. Before Rita Gordon pressed send on her tweet, I’ll bet she went back and forth and then thought, ‘Why not?’ I’ll be Pauline Ehle did the same before she thought ‘Why not?’ and bought the ticket. I bet Jann Arden, when hearing about it and thinking about what to do, thought, ‘Why not?’
None of them could possibly have known that responding to this niggling little question, ‘Why not?’ would impact so many people.
And yet, ‘Why not?
My inquiry for you this week is, ‘Why not?’
Elizabeth is a certified professional Leadership Coach, and the owner of Critchley Coaching. She is the founder and president of the Canadian charity, RDL Building Hope Society. Elizabeth works with corporations, non-profits and the public sector, providing leadership coaching. She creates and facilitates custom workshops for all sizes of groups. She has particular expertise in facilitating Strategic Plans for organizations. If you are thinking of contacting Elizabeth, why not?