You Can Say No

Computer Sayes NoDo you sometimes believe that the only answer available to you is “yes?”

J.J. Toothman prompted this idea during our conversation after I posted Glossing Over History. In answer to another comment, I indicated that I wouldn’t be casting a vote for any presidential candidate. J.J. responded:

Wait a second, Britt. You said “I doubt I’ll vote for any of the presidential candidates” – are you saying you aren’t going to vote for any nominee from the 2 major parties, or are you saying you arent going to vote?

Here was my response:

…to clarify, I will vote in this election. There are important local and state offices up this election cycle. However, I choose to not cast a vote for any presidential candidate, major or minor party. For me, because I believe none of the candidates is truly representative of me, I can’t in good conscience give him or her my vote…So to sum up, I’m taking the opportunity to exercise my right to vote “no” by not voting for any presidential candidate.

Now, substitute any aspect of your life for voting in the election, and how often do you believe “yes” is the only option open to you?

For example, what if many of the individuals caught short in the recent housing upheaval had said no to the idea that everyone, in spite of their financial circumstances, should strive for home ownership? What if Bear Stearns had said no to playing in mortgage-backed securities? What if Americans ,with over 60% of the population classified as obese, said no to the fast food guy asking if they want to biggie-size their order?

Consider the prevailing attitudes that make it difficult to say no. People want to live in their own homes. Bear Stearns was doing what other investment banks were doing. For pennies more, you can get twice the food.

When are you saying yes when saying no might be an equally valid option and to your benefit?


(Photo courtesy of Vampire Bear. Some rights reserved.)


3 Responses to “You Can Say No”

  1. March 28, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Holy life changing blog!

    one of the biggest challenges, in trying to really appreciate and make the most of this life, is saying NO to the notion that I should always need and be wanting MORE. They key is finding the more in what you already have, like the ability to say No.

  2. 2 Britt
    March 31, 2008 at 8:26 am

    @renee: I’m so glad you liked the post. I think we underestimate our ability to be content with what we have and overestimate what adding more will do for our happiness.

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