No. It’s a little word with enormous power. It doesn’t need to be underscored with expletives or 199 decibels. If you believe in your No and reinforce it with your feet, it really doesn’t matter if anyone else believes you or not.
No has saved more people from disaster than any other word I can imagine.
Let me explain. All of us, but especially the generation between 9 and 29, need to be in charge of our futures. There are hundreds of people out there who care only about what they can get from you – usually your virtue or your money or both. They don’t care that in the end you could be left a lot less than you were before the exchange – with impaired health, reduced job prospects, a new kid on the block, a bleak future.
Saying No to drugs will create a stronger You, a You more ready to take on real and satisfying challenges and conquer them. This world still has so much to offer! Why would you shoot yourself in the head with a plastic capsule and destroy your chances to walk on the other side of the moon. I know, your good friend says it won’t hurt you. Don’t you believe it. Would a good friend get you into drugs?
Ever think of saying No to a beer or something stronger? Alcohol is one of the most potent drugs available. I know, a lot of your friends and family do drink it. Does that mean you can’t say No tonight and be the designated driver? Did you ever think of having a party without it? Be adventurous! Try to avoid it!
Saying No to peer pressure will always create a stronger You, a You more capable, more ready, more interested in life, more interested and able to live life to the full. Try it; you’ll like it! (Sometimes it is easier to say No if you say it before the pressure is too great, before the hormones are flowing too strongly, perhaps before all the support has left you alone with temptation.)
Saying No to sex before you are intelligently ready, eager, and able to take on the natural result of that one night; before you are positioned to pay the bills and train up the child, before you understand the basics of budgeting, rent, car payments, proper nutrition, health care, colicky nights, and all the other details of having a home of your own, is just plain smart.
So, if you’re smart and you know it, start practicing that little No. Say it often. Say it with conviction. Let roll around in your mouth. Savor it. Relish it. Smile as you enunciate. But, most of all, believe it. It doesn’t matter if your best friend believes it; it doesn’t matter if the jerk peddling the drug believes it; your boyfriend; your girlfriend. All that matters is that you believe it and act on your belief.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor