Finding Your No

“Nothing we do as individuals matters, but it is vitally important to do it anyway.”


A recent news article in the Fresno Bee stated that the Fresno Police Department was inundated with calls regarding illegal fireworks during the Fourth of July holiday. It seems there were a number of scofflaws who felt “independent” of regulations regarding the sale and use of fireworks.

A scofflaw is a person who disregards regulations and/or laws regarding legal activities, such as driving, buying alcohol, discharging fireworks, watering lawns, etc. Scofflaws are not necessarily criminals in that the rules they disregard are not forbidden—like murder or theft—they are merely restricted under certain conditions. For example, fireworks are legal if used by the proper authorities in a designated location, but they are illegal if launched from someone’s backyard.

What’s funny is when one person’s scoff is another person’s law. Someone who is outraged when drivers exceed the speed limit may think it’s perfectly fine to discharge illegal fireworks.

In my opinion, a scofflaw is a person who has not found his or her “No.” You may think finding your no doesn’t matter, but it is vitally important to find it anyway. The beasts know their no; they instinctively follow the rules of their community. Even when there is conflict and the animals do battle, they honor the codes of conduct. I can’t picture a cow or a horse or a rooster being a scofflaw. I wonder what that would look like.

In the movie, Old Yeller, a wolf leaps towards a fire; the wolf was not a scofflaw, thinking To heck with this fire–I’m going for it. No, the wolf was insane. Scofflaws are not considered insane…but maybe they are. What if scofflaw-ism is a unique kind of insanity; one that feeds on self-deception and self-justification? How is this related to finding your no?

Note to self: I’ll have to think about this.






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