The Power of Knowing No
These days denial is 9/10ths of the unexecutable law.
Nevertheless, to know a no when you encounter one should be of paramount importance to holding formal positions of power, to staying out of prison, to garnering reward and to interacting socially in general.
But Knowing No is not simply a matter of designating laws to societies and following them, nor is it just a matter of understanding what "no" means theoretically.
Knowing No is a responsibility. Not only because the application of it is both impactful and delicate; but because the individual must be as honest as possible about recognizing it when and as they encounter it.
Knowing No and being attentive to it calls for a base-willingness to recognize otherness. And an awareness that is not numbed or insensitive to wills other than its own, yet still pays heed and asks questions to confirm, deny and verify.
Knowing No requires honesty and transparency with oneself first. When that integrity has been developed, it can be honed through willpower. Primarily, the will to deny the ego at any possible turn in favor of what is demanded by the circumstances you are involved in.
When it comes to a vocation where one must Know No on the behalf of or for others, it becomes a responsibility, a duty and a calling. This cannot possibly be a job for just anyone.
If we are speaking of a decided regulation of society, then those who take up the larger and most directly impactful roles must be the most willing to be honest—towards everyone as often and as much as possible. Not only in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of Existence.
To be equally blind to the ideas of a self and to the ideas of others in order to construct the greatest amount of equilibrium called for in any given moment once determining the circumstances. This can be justice. So too can observing yourself from a higher perspective and requiring of yourself your most refined and integral efforts, actions and qualities. Regardless of who and what may or may not be watching, doing or existing around you.
Obviously this can feel like, aka “be,” a ridiculous amount of work. But there are people who are actually willing to do it. There are people who are actually doing it. You can know them by the fact that they are already living their life this way with as many people and in as many circumstances as possible. Including with themselves when they have helped create violation by not knowing a no when they first encountered it.
People who simply want what they want and to get away with it without an equal openness to not getting away with it are also not the most capable of enacting justice on behalf or others. They cannot even do it for themselves.
Such people believe wants are more important than needs and as a result they have insisted that their wants are needs in the face of all opposition or evidence of things being otherwise. This makes such individuals's reliability highly dependent on their moods as well as the potential or probable consequences or rebuttals for their actions.
Which fosters an understandably volatile assessment process since people who behave that way do not necessarily desire honesty as a means of exacting their idea of justice. Their existential anxiety coupled with their unwillingness to simply decide for themselves what they represent allows for them to be vulnerable to negatively polarized manipulation.
Such people's relationship to justice/fairness gets conjoined with their existential anxiety, which then influences their behavior from a concept of justice constructed more from the desire for comfort, obedience, placation or “predictability.”
Yet we choose to continue to trust, rely upon or otherwise believe in the integrity of others who want us to bare the weight of everything they intentionally choose to ignore or not pay attention to. Who are thereby not integral. Who do not know how to prioritize their knowledge. Who fall short of wisdom while flailing for an inaccurate visage of "being smart." Who are not even patient enough to learn to take the path of no force.
And that last bit is important, for we live especially with what we ignore. Where do people think the creeping anxiety comes from?
So, what can be done?
For one, entrust more integral, more reliable and more honest people to be the gatekeepers of Knowing No in y/our homes, in y/our neighborhoods, in y/our cities, in y/our states or countries, in y/our relationships, in y/our work places, in y/our environments, in y/our lives and in regards to your relationship and influence over your own selfhood.
How can we tell we've chosen the right individuals to do such important work?
Because through them simply being as they are, integrity, reliability and honesty trickles down into every other facet and reach of society over which they have influence (family, friends, strangers, neighbors, businesses, industries, governments, etc.).
Beyond that, "each one, teach one." Beyond even that, leading by example. Further still, being a mirror off of which others can reflect and continue to spread influence. To infinity and beyond, being yourself BECAUSE AND REGARDLESS OF what you imagine may happen to you because of it. If this isn’t worth living for, what is?
And what about the idea of doing all of this only because you know it is an option there for the choosing; that you know it is there to be done and so knowing, that you choose to be capable of done-ing it.
Because once you know better, you just do better. It is that complete of a comprehension.