Learning to Say "No"

"People like me better when I say 'Yes.' " This was Ned's answer when someone asked why he always agreed to do things his friends asked him to do.

Ned's habit of saying "Yes" sometimes got him into trouble. It might be all right when the question was something like, "Will you have another piece of cake?" or "Coming to the ball game?" But sometimes his school friends asked him to do other things that he really didn't want to say "Yes" to—in fact, things he knew quite well he really ought to say "No" to. Things like, "Will you tell me the answer to the first question in the math test if I tell you the answer to the second?" or "Mr. Smith's away. He'll never know if we take some apples off the tree by his house. What about it?"

May 18, 1974

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