No. It’s the scariest word in language. It drives people into frenzy. It instigates wars on a global scale as well as at the individual level in the form of violence and rape. It also sits deep inside the heart, every No we’ve ever heard, burning tiny holes in our self-esteem and eventually our ability to dream.
What about this word is so powerful that its supposed counterpart YES cannot boast? NO draws a boundary. NO suggests identity. NO shows us the face of another’s will. Does it nullify the existence of our own?
A friend asked what we do when we are rejected. I said I drown myself in work to forget. Someone said they remove their WhatsApp profile picture. Are these two the same thing? I rush to create a new identity (as efficient and successful) as a reaction to feeling nullified by NO. The other appears to acknowledge their feeling of non-existence by becoming a non-person, at least temporarily on a digital platform.
What happens instead if the answer has been YES? Do we actually remember all the YESes we’ve experienced? No, only the major ones (a marriage proposal, a pregnancy confirmation, a contract) and even these we find ourselves needing to commit to memory with rituals, pictures, anniversaries and the like. Our lives are not changed drastically by YESes and we have to work hard to remember them.
The NOs however, embed themselves inside us and forever determine how we live and who we are. A NO is a changemaker, the magic source of identity-shifting, of evolution, the essence of life itself. It’s true. It’s not pretty or comfortable but neither is birth (or being born). Maybe we are all just a collection of the NOs we have experienced our whole lives.
If you liked this post, you’ll want to follow the Facebook Page and the Youtube channel. I’m Ramya Pandyan (a.k.a. Ideasmith) and I’m on Twitter and Instagram.