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"JUST SAY NO" REVISITED

When the war on drugs began, Nancy Reagan came out with “just say no” to drugs, I could appreciate it much. Not that I was on drugs, but I considered the slogan good for any vice or wrongdoing one wants to eliminate or avoid.

I used the slogan when I stopped smoking, when I was struggling to lose weight, when I gave up my brandy before dinner (after reading that alcohol can cause bleeding in the brain ) and when I became a vegetarian and then vegan.

To elaborate a bit on being vegan. At first, it was difficult to not eat the flesh of animals as I had done it all my life up until the late 70’s, and meat and animal products are stimulants and our bodies “crave” them. But all I had to do was just think of the cruelty and suffering of the poor innocent creatures of God who wanted to live as much as I and it was easy then to just say no. No, I’ll not be a party to causing others to hurt or to die for a piece of flesh on my fork; no, I’ll not eat something that causes my health to suffer, and no, I’ll not do something to further endanger and destroy our environment, our precious rain forests and pollute our waters with all the waste from raising animals for food.

No to all of the above was not easy, but simple and so I just said no. And am still saying no, even though I am ridiculed and ostracized by some of my own family, IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO and I’ll continue to just say no.

Incidentally, being vegan is not just about not eating flesh and animal products, the environment and my health. It’s about being non-violent in all walks of life. It means to speak out for justice for all who cannot speak for themselves. My convictions are equally strong against abortion , abuse of the elderly, children being endangered and all injustices. I will just say no to merely standing by and watching the least of God’s little ones being cruelly treated. Being vegan means working to make a difference and just saying no to violence of any kind.

Simple, yes? Easy, NO! But I found that just saying no, and punctuating it with a mental explanation mark, helps. I sang a little song to my young children years ago that went something like this: No, no, a thousand times no, I’d rather die than say yes. They would beg for something I didn’t think they needed and this is what I’d chant to them. They began to beg like this: “Can I, and please don’t sing that song.” But I did.

All this “discipline” was instilled in my brain by my father. He was big on “auto-suggestion” or “you can if you think you can” theory. No negatives in his presence.

There’s another way just saying no can be easier: Just say no FOR JESUS. He will help you with the struggle. I could never give in to saying “yes” after saying “no” FOR HIM! It would be like a sacrilege to me.

Thank you, Nancy Reagan, for giving us this powerful and wonderful slogan. It’s been a Godsend for me.

Billie Touchstone Signer
7274 Estes Road
Harrison, AR 72601
billiesigner@alltel.net

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