This “For Better Or For Worse” Cartoon Strip by Lynn Johnson from July 13, has the mother “out gardening when her Boy comes up and asks, “Can I play in the Sprinkler, MOM.” To which she replies, “No!” He then replies, “But it’s hot out and I’m not sick or anything! “To which his mother replies sternly, “ I said NO!” To which he replies, “ That’s not fair! There’s’ no reason why I can’t play in the sprinkler!’ Then in the final frame we see the mother's thought bubble: “I know …but once you’ve said no … you've got to save face.”
Now I don’t actually agree that she has to save face, but I do agree that once you have made a decision, you do have to stick with that, no matter how uncomfortably it makes you. Unless it is either immoral or illegal.
However getting back to the above illustration I think that there are two clear and distinct lessons to be learned from it. One for each party.
Firstly, the Boy put up a good argument at the end, but sadly He left all his pertinent points until after the answer was no.
So from this we should learn to marshal all pertinent and relevant facts before hand, and present them upfront, and not wait until after the decision has been made.
And secondly we learn form the mother not to be too hasty in rejecting a request, just because it’s timing is inopportune or its presentation is initially lacking in content.
So please think before you speak! Whether it is to ask for something, or whether it is too respond to any such requests, or for any other matter too!
Now of course if one of my children were to ask me that today, I would also say no! Not just because they are adults and would look funny running in and out of a sprinkler! But because we have severe water restrictions and can only run a hose for 2 hours, twice a week! Even now in our Winter/spring!