Yes Is Meaningless

Law 28: Enter Action with Boldness

Take 1

what have I got to lose

this is opportunity

not solution

this is a move in a direction

right or wrong

doesn’t matter as much as

this is a move in a direction

I have more to lose

by remain still

by keeping safe

all I have to lose


Yes Is Meaningless (Take Two)

I say no

without anger

it’s not meant to punish

to teach anyone a lesson

it means exactly what it says


I don’t want what I don’t want

I don’t want that item on the menu

I don’t want to walk any further

I don’t want to talk about it


once I’ve said no

I’m not open to negotiation

any more than you are

in your eagerness for a yes


there are time when no is pointless

I can say no more shit

but it keeps coming

from people who don’t ask for permission

they take thing into their own hands

pick up the gun

don’t make excuses apologies

bold brash trigger pullers

teaching us the lesson

that tolerance isn’t acceptance

that the law

can’t legislate thoughts

there are no thought police

only pundits

to say how terrible it is

after the fact

after the fact

it’s too late to be bold enough to say anything

even though before the fact

it was bold enough

to celebrate ourselves

our skins

our agency as humans

after the fact

it’s too late to say no


I say no when I mean no

I don’t explain


don’t condition it as a potential yes

I’ll repeat the no

but if it takes more than one repeat

to be heard

I say nothing

I walk

because if you can’t respect my no

then my yes is meaningless to you

It took two tries to get into Law 28. To me ‘bold’ at first meant a sort of brash pushiness that calls attention to itself – an act that is a departure from the norm – fashion forward with deliberate changes in shape or fabric that challenges. The first take was feeling out the expectation of being bold within the safety of no change. I liked this start but it wasn’t bold enough for me 🙂

One of the boldest things, for me, is to step away from people pleasing without the need to please at the same time. There is a power in saying NO. As I’ve heard in recovery ‘No is a complete sentence.’ The ability to say NO without also having to make an apology to go with it takes practice. Often I’m not sorry when I say No Thanks so why pretend that I am.

There are those who feel NO needs to be justified or that if you say it you are merely saying ‘convince me.’ ‘What do you mean No?’ Some of this reflects the notion of consent – just because I meet a guy fro coffee isn’t consent to coming back to my place, coming back to my place may be consent to sex but not to getting tied up – no amount of sweet talk is going to get me to say yes to what I said no to.

Of course we always don’t have agency – I never said yes to crowded subway cars but if I want to get there I have to fit into that car. I was also thinking about event she may be powerless over like the Orlando Pulse shootings. That shooter didn’t ask permission he acted boldly. Laws that try to protect can’t in the long run. Laws are often a way of enforcing a NO – to control behaviour but as the piece says they can’t control thoughts.

It returns to the more person level in the end with boundaries – No is a boundary – some people feel it is perfectly okay to ignore a boundary if they feel they know what is best for you or if they they can change your mind because it’ll suit their own ends as yours are clearly wrong – they feel somehow victimized when you don’t compromise. They can’t respect your decision to say No, if they don’t – move on. Now that is bold.

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