What I was thinking about today was the power of “no.” It’s a simple word. Two letters. One syllable. And yet, it is the one of the most powerful words in the English vocabulary. When it is backed up by action, it can change the trajectory of a life, topple totalitarian regimes, set the powerful on the run.
I suppose that’s one of the things I love most about Wendell Berry’s poem, “The Contrariness of the Mad Farmer” (watch him read it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwopVR1hhMU). That mad farmer is a kindred spirit. He knows something about the power of “no.” And then he takes it a step further, and does the exact opposite.
I’ve been thinking “no” a lot lately, and saying it when I get the chance. No, I’m not going to say that. No, I’m not going to see that. No, I’m not going to be sucked into that stupid argument. No, I’m not going to be sold to, marketed to, or pandered to. No, I’m not going to be bullied by some know-it-all. No, I’m not going to be ignored by some megalithic internet corporation. No, I’m not going to go along with some stupid pseudo Marxist ideology espoused by some commission of halfwits, or believe what some federal department is espousing. . .today.
Another powerful word is “why.” Something to think about as I slog of to the city tomorrow to take care of the people I like, deal with ones I don’t, and fight off various dragons, and demons.