In this world of immense possibilities, even within the stratum of society in which one finds himself, it has become necessary to acquire the power to say NO.
If we see the evolution of man, as a child he could only state his discomfort thru crying when found in unpleasant circumstances or with unpleasant feelings/sensations. But this crying does not automatically turn to the power of saying NO.
It needs a certain conviction of the self to utter NO, notwithstanding the feelings and thoughts lying within. A NO, in legal parlance is the DECLARATION OF REFUSAL. It is a statement made in personam or in rem or to one’s God or to oneself. But what is visible is what is known to the other beings, and therefore here i wish to explore the outward import of the POWER OF NO.
First and foremost is that, a person who doesn’t have a choice needs to say no NOES. Therefore there must be other possibilities of fact before one chooses the option of a NO.
Secondly, it is a higher power than YES, because it is NEGATIVE. A YES is an affirmation without any exclusion, but the moment a NO comes in something is carved out and taken away from the whole- which has already an existence or has already been envisaged.
The President of the USA has the VETO power, it is the power to say NO. The big five in the UN Security Council have the power to say NO. It is that power that sets them apart from the rest, whether as an individual to over-rule the Congress or as a nation to over-rule the non-permanent members of the council. Politics is the ultimate power, as it decides for others, but my scope is much less ambitious and it shall hereafter deal with the POWER OF NO at a personal level.
In the first statement to be made by any CHRISTIAN, in his own personal capacity, endowed with a power to say NO is during his CONFIRMATION. Confirmation is the taking of the vows to be a Christian and to abjure and depart from devilish ways. The candidate reconfirms the vows taken by his guardians during his baptism. During the confirmation he is asked:-
“DO ye here, in the presence of God, and of this congregation, renounce the devil and all his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh, so that ye will not follow nor be led by them?”
The question is affirmatively worded, but the contents reflect that the candidate shall say NO to the Devil and all his works.
So the FIRST NO, is ironically uttered as an AFFIRMATION of his FAITH.
Most of the world religions do have the TABOO practices. A taboo is a NO, NO and NO to certain beliefs, practices and acts.
Therefore the power of NO, not only keeps one within the bounds of what is right as prescribed by the society, but also gives one a certainty of the guiltlessness to one’s actions and thoughts.
Notwithstanding all the above, the power of NO, reflects the choice a man makes for himself, which ultimately shapes his personality and the perception of others.
There are moments in a man’s life when he can’t say NO. To follow what is gonna be narrated below, one shud have a decent memory of the movie CASABLANCA, where in the salon RICK’S, Ingrid Bergman meets Sam , the piano player and requests him to play and sing AS TIME GOES BY. Sam’s boss, Rick (@ Richard)- played by Humphrey Bogart-, had instructed Sam never to play AS TIME GOES BY. The lady- played by Ingrid (i wish i had been in first name terms with her- what bone structure!!)- uses her feminine charms to make Sam play AS TIME GOES BY, and succeeds. Sam, the piano player, finds himself in a situation where it would be his DUTY to say NO, but since his boss’ emotions were involved and further the request was made by the lady who could have been his master’s wife, he finds himself powerless and plays AS TIME GOES BY.
A BEAUTIFUL INSTANCE WHERE THE POWER OF NO WAS DEFEATED BY A HOST OF DEBILITATING CIRCUMSTANCES- POOR SAM!
Macbeth found himself in a position to say NO, when the proposition of murdering Duncan was put forth to him, but he couldn’t.If only had he said NO, we’d have been less critical of Lady Macbeth. That NO would have smothered an evil idea at its infancy.
A NO is the mental brake. That might seem to delay progress, but it also provides the TIME to take a turn from the undesirable destination.
If one recalls the MARSHMALLOW TESTS, one could see that delay in appeasing one’s immediate sensual desires could lead to better rewards. That also is the power to say NO for the immediate gains and postponement of smaller satisfaction for greater REWARDS. With every NO uttered to an attractive thing or proposition, the person increases the HOPE component of his consciousness.
LEARN TO SAY NO. THE POWER TO SAY NO IS ACQUIRED AFTER ONE HAS KISSED A MILLION “YES” TOADS!