The power of positive answers

Just say yes. It’s a simple concept, but one so powerful and uplifting that its results can’t be debated. What would happen if everyone viewed the world through this prism and set out to approach all of life’s challenges from a position of positive thinking?

The devastation that resulted from last month’s tornado provided the citizens of New Hampshire with an opportunity to witness the power of the positive human spirit in action.

It has often been said that times of tragedy present us with some of the greatest lessons in perseverance, and this axiom was never more true than in the stories that came to light in the aftermath of this natural disaster — all because New Hampshire citizens chose to say yes.

There was the story of Alex Cote, the Deerfield highway agent who joined with rangers from the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands to gather debris strewn throughout Northwood Lake. Cote and his fellow workers sifted through the remnants of broken lives to collect personal items that could be delivered back to homeowners.

When the American Red Cross, another group of unsung heroes, arrived with meals for the crew, Cote asked that the residents hardest hit by the tragedy be fed first while he and rangers continued to work. Clearly, Alex Cote was a man who had learned how to say yes.

Then there was the story of Barry Angelone who saw his Deerfield neighbor clearing fallen tree debris off of his roof with a hand saw. He asked if there was any way that he could assist in the cleanup and was told no. Moments later, he returned with a chainsaw anyway and worked alongside a neighbor he had never spoken to before that day. Barry Angelone is another person who found inspiration in the simple word, “yes.”

There are countless other stories like the two I’ve detailed, stories of everyday heroism that result from the desire to put positive thoughts into action. Each week, I try to share these stories on my “Yes” television program on Manchester Community Television. Many times, the subjects featured are well-known community leaders from throughout the state. However, some of the subjects who make the largest impression are everyday citizens who act as guardian angels in the cities and towns that they live in.

It’s my true belief that we are surrounded by people who put the needs of others first and won’t allow obstacles to slow their forward momentum. And though their stories sometimes get lost in the negativity that sometimes dominates the evening news, they are still out there — more real and life-affirming than ever before.

Just say “yes”… it’s an approach to life that builds our society and it’s an approach that makes all of our lives richer.

Paul S. Boynton is president of Moore Center Services and host of “Yes,” which airs on Manchester Community Television’s Channel 16 on Tuesdays at 6 p.m., Wednesdays at 10 a.m. and Sundays at 8 p.m. For more information, visit

Categories: Opinion