Of ‘no’,’yes’ or better still ‘why not’

Some of us make it a matter of pride to be able to say ‘no’ and rightly so. If you are someone who can stand up and say the formidable ‘no’ to a situation, individual or an opinion you are probably doing the right thing.

As someone who usually hesitates to say an outright ‘no’, I find myself sometimes saddled with more work than I can handle or more pressure than I should probably take.

Yet, I would still say it is better to leave room for change, compromise and reconciliation than stick to the big ‘no’. Leave a ‘sliding door’ for new beginnings!

When given an opportunity to anchor a program, some of my students were quick to say a ‘no’, two of them said, ‘why not’, just guide us mam’ and there they are on the stage. For those who said ‘no’ without even blinking, an opportunity has been lost, perhaps forever. I guess it is rightly said, ‘stand up to be counted’.

During a crisis, a somewhat do or die situation viz a viz finances my friend approached someone who she thought should share the responsibility for help, ‘no, I can’t do anything’, he said. A few more firm ‘nos’ and she had made up her mind. Perhaps the repeated ‘nos’ put an end to the possibility of a beautiful relationship.

I am usually eager to ask ‘why not’ because some of the best experiences I have had have come to me from my asking ‘why not’.

Whether it be opportunities at work or friendships, hmm… (I am a bit wary of people some times), I find myself asking ‘why not’ more often than ‘why’ and it has helped me, so far, at least.

I subscribe to this view of Richard Branson, ‘If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!’ So what is your view, which is better, ‘A big no’, ‘ A Why?’ or ‘A Why Not?’.


One response to “Of ‘no’,’yes’ or better still ‘why not’”

  1. Great image: the sliding door in place of “the big no.” In the matter of new opportunities, at my age I need to ask myself, “In exchange for what?” Change, if it’s a choice, usually includes giving something up.

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