‘Life is Good’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking…

This time of year reminds me of summers gone by and family vacations.  We’ve always attempted to take time for ‘creating memories’ as a family at a beach for a few days in the summer.  It has become a Walton tradition.

Somewhere along the way I became enamored with ‘Life is Good’ T-shirts.  Each summer I find a new ‘Life is Good’ themed shirt and add it to my collection.  This past Christmas the family gave me a ‘Life is Good’ book which tells the story of two brothers, Bert and John Jacobs who began a journey of a T-shirt business.  This is their story…

“Who are we to declare that life is good?  Good question.  We’re two ordinary brothers from Boston who didn’t’ want a real job but weren’t afraid to work.  After graduating from college, we decided we wanted to make a living by creating art.  Designing and selling T-shirts seemed like a fun, simple way to take a shot at starting a business.

Today, Life is Good is a $100 million clothing company with one simple unifying mission to spread the power of optimism…A minimum of 10 percent of our annual profits goes to helping kids overcome poverty, violence, and severe medical challenges.  Our nonprofit foundation, The Life is Good Kids Foundation, positively impacts the lives of more than 100,000 children a day.”(P. 9)

I am finding various crumbs of truth throughout the book.  One truth, in particular, struck me with regards to the church.  This truth is set in the context of improv comedy... “Rule number one of improv comedy is the principle of “Yes and.”  While they’re collaborating onstage, improv actors never reject each other’s ideas.  They say, “Yes, and…” to accept and build upon each new contribution.  There’s no time to negate or judge an idea if the shared goal is to propel a scene forward and make something new…It’s about letting ideas breathe, trusting each other, and going on a journey of the unknown together.

Have you ever tried to brainstorm with someone who ‘brain-stomps” on every idea without giving it a chance?  It’s easier to knock something down than it is to build it up.  But remember: The people who knock everything down never build anything.  A quick “No” stops the flow.  “Yes and” lets you build and grow.  This principle applies well beyond theater and comedy.” (P.32-33)

Faithful people live in an optimistic realm.  Faithful churches are “Yes and” churches.  These are the communities of faith that are magnetic and attractive to a hurting and broken world. 

 Always Thinking…


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