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When a dear friend ASKS you for a favor and you are in a state of exhaustion can you say NO without guilt?
When a family member yells and screams at you about something and you feel attacked can you say “I will not respond to yelling or screaming, so we can talk when you have calmed down” without feeling scared or guilty?
When people disrespect others in your presence, are you able to stand up for what is right?
There is a good chance that you either said a quick NO to the above questions or an “Of course” but if I were to ask you for examples where you were proactive and said NO to bad behaviors, you would have a hard time coming up with examples with close friends and family.
You may be better able to do it with strangers and people for whom you care very little.
Standing up for what we believe is right is not something that we are taught.
We are often taught to not rock the boat and therefore the people behaving badly get away with their nasty behavior.
A long time ago when my son was in 1st grade, about 6 years old, I took him out of school early one day for a “mental health day” and we went to get ice cream.
He ordered his ice cream and we were sitting there talking about his latest Lego creation and he was deciding what he would build next when the following happened.
A group of three boys about 10 or 11 years old came into the store and two of the boys ordered their ice creams while the third boy just stood there.
The two who ordered were making fun of the boy who had no money.
The boys took their ice cream, laughed at the one without and proceeded to go outside.
I then got up and told the ice cream-less boy to order WHATEVER he wanted. He looked at me and said, “Really lady?”
I said “Yep … make it an order bigger than your friends.”
I kind of made him order five scoops. He was grinning so big I thought he would burst. His friends came rushing in to tell ME that it was not fair.
I asked them why it was not fair. They said that they only had 2 scoops. I then asked why it was fair that they did not share their ice cream with their friend who had no money.
They looked shocked that I would bring that up.
The other boy said that he would go home to bring money for me and I asked him to go home and hug his mom and tell her he loved her and for me, he should try to always be kind to others. He left happy, the other two…not so much.
What was my little son doing this whole time?
He was eating his ice cream and looked up and said, “What took you so long mom?”
I smiled and said that I was giving the boys a chance to be kind. He shrugged and asked could he have as many scoops as the other fella got.
That night there were two very happy boys in Kingwood, TX, one in my house and one in another house, telling his Mom about his adventures.
I said NO to unfair treatment of a child. I said YES to kindness and I showed my son that day what it means to step up and right a wrong.
How will you say NO to unfair treatment?
What will you teach your children?
How will you stand up to bullying in and out of the family?
Love and light,