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You Don’t Always Have to Say Yes

The majority of Americans lead busy lives. Between work and family, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. Then, just when you think you cannot fit another activity into your schedule, or when you already have a to do list a mile long, someone approaches you for a favor. Maybe it is your boss asking you to fill in for another employee at some function. Perhaps it is your spouse requesting that you run some type of errand on your way home from work. Your child came home from school and informed you that he volunteered you to make a dozen cookies for the bake sale tomorrow. Many of us feel as though we have no choice but to say yes, but do you always have to say yes? What would happen if just once you said no? Imagine how history may have been different if just that one time these people had said no.

“Mr. Lincoln, there is a wonderful performance at the Ford Theater this evening. Would you like me to get you tickets in the balcony?”
“No thank you, I am not feeling up to it tonight.”

“President Kennedy, you have been invited to Dallas to ride along in a motorcade with Texas Governor John Connally.”
“How thoughtful, but I just don’t think I will be able to make it.”

“Bill, I find you so irresistible I just can’t help myself. I’d do anything for you, anything.”
“Monica, you are a lovely girl, but I am a happily married man and you are an intern. This would not be right. I’m going to have to say no to your proposition.”

“Robert, I had this fabulous idea. Why don’t you make a rap album and go by the stage name of Vanilla Ice?”
“Thanks for the offer, but I think I will pass. Rap just isn’t my thing.”

“Hey Brittany, what do you say we be wild and crazy and go get our heads shaved?”
“That sounds like fun, but no thanks. I am trying to work on my image.”

What if instead of saying yes to drugs and alcohol, comedic giants John Belushi and Chris Farley said no? What if while envisioning his superior race, Hitler took a moment to pause and decided that as much as he wanted an Aryan race it would be wrong to persecute a specific group of people? What if instead of always saying yes, sometimes you said no?
It is true that most of the decisions we make on a daily basis will not have life altering consequences. No one is going to die if the parent who was volunteered to make the cookies actually bakes them. What may be more important to consider is this, what will I be missing out on if I do this extra thing? If I work an extra shift this weekend am I going to miss my son’s basketball game? If I have to stay late at the office will my health suffer because of the extra stress of working more hours? Only we as individuals can answer these questions. Perhaps saying yes will have no negative impact on your life whatsoever. By all means, then say yes. Just be sure you try to consider the pros and cons of your choices and remember you don’t always have to say yes.


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