“No” is Not a Curse Word

The below lesson was taught to a parents group not long ago. The message becomes even more relevant during the Christmas season because of the many demands. Just remember it is OK to deny requests.

Also, please let it be know that this and all other posts I make should be considered (c) and I would appreciate permission for reuse except in the case of re-blogging. Thank you.



“No” is Not a Curse Word





Prepared for:


Harlem Park Elementary School

1401 Lafayette Ave

Baltimore, Maryland 21217






19 September 2012








Prepared by:


Elder William James Carter, The 1st



 The Christian Perspective



“No” is Not a Curse Word


     All too often parents work tirelessly for their families and those that surround them. But that work comes a great cost. That cost is that parents are often stressed, worn out, tired, impatient, underfed and the like. With that bad health is often not only at the door but sitting in the easy chair. When this happens parents are not good for themselves or their children. They have said yes way too often to way too many people for all the wrong reasons.

     Saying yes is proper and right but not always necessary. There is no need to say yes to everybody for everything because it will have a negative impact. One impact, as noted is stress. But what is stress? There are two forms of stress; one good and the other not so much. The first form of stress is eustress which is a positive stress that provides energy for us. It is the kind of stress that is useful for creativity as well as getting us out of dangerous situations. For instance, if we are cross the street and suddenly a car comes streaming down the road we are suddenly filled with certain adrenalin that allows us to run across the street to safety.

     The second type of stress is called distress. Some synonyms for distress are:

  1. Suffering
  2. Pain
  3. Anguish
  4. Greif
  5. Agony
  6. Misery
  7. Torment
  8. Affliction

     This, however, is not the whole of negative stress. There is another term for negative stress which is hyperstress. Hyperstress is the compilation of a number of negative stressors which makes a person feel like there is no hope. Feelings of depression can seep in which makes the stress all the worse. Unchecked stress can:

  1. lead to emotional distress
  2. spiritual exhaustion
  3. Physical illness

     Much of this stress can be alleviated if we simply learn to say “no”.  Many seem to think that saying no is a curse word. That is many see denying others their services as being an obscenity or blasphemous. It is not. Not only is it OK to say no but often it is necessary to say no. For instance; if your child wants you to buy him $200.000 pair of tennis shoes but budget not only disallows it but he just received a new pair of tennis shoes at the start of the school year. It is OK to say no if only because there is no need for them.

     And then there are the neighbors. They need this and they need that. Milk is needed for the baby but the store is two blocks away and she just came from the store. And then there are other needs of neighbors that really are not needs rather they are desires that have little to no necessity. But in the mind of the one seeking your help it is not only urgent but an emergency. But you just arrived home from work and dinner needs to be prepared. You are tired and the kids need help with their homework. Not only that you have to prepare for the next day’s work. It is OK to say no. This is a small part of the picture of the working parent because there are many other aspects to their lives. This is a list of things most of us are involved in or with:

  1. God
  2. Spouse
  3. Children
  4. Self – Most often denied behind God and Church
  5. Work
  6. Church
  7. Friends and neighbors
  8. Health
  9. Security
  10. Civic duty

     With all this going on it is quite easy for a life to fall out of balance. In his book Margin Dr. Richard A. Swenson outlines steps to “restore balance.”  Those steps are:

  1. Regain control over your own lives.
  2. Place God at the center of all things, and build outward from there.
  3. Beware of the trap of trying to solve the problem of imbalance by becoming even more unbalanced.
  4. Accept the No given by others.

     Above all say NO when you need to and when you want to. It is OK to pamper yourself. So,

  1. Take that bath and let Calgon take you away (in my case Mr. Bubble)
  2. Watch a movie
  3. Twiddle you thumbs
  4. Take that walk
  5. Love You!



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