weekly blog--one for the ages
On Saturday mornings, I often go to a Torah study class led by a conservative rabbi. A few weeks ago, he posed this question to the group: if you invited someone to dinner and they brought food that didn’t fit with the dietary laws of the meal, (i.e. a dairy dessert with meat dinner, non-Passover dish for a Seder), would you serve and eat it? Most of the people in the class including me simply said no. To my surprise, several people including the rabbi said yes, believing that it was important not to offend the guest.
When I asked the question to a more observant friend, he said no. But then he threw me a curve ball: if you were visiting a tribe in a remote part of Africa and they prepared a special meal that included food that didn’t fit with any dietary laws you were keeping, would you eat it? I said yes because I did not want to offend anyone.
The point of this is that we face the Yes-No Conundrum every day. And for older adults, knowing when to say no is a way to keep from taking on too many commitments, which equates to added stress which makes you more vulnerable to feeling run-down and getting sick. Over the last few weeks, I’ve run across several blogs focused on learning how to say no, but the most well-thought-out advice was found on the Mayo Clinic website.
Reasons to say no:
Use these strategies to evaluate obligations and opportunities:
Here are some things to keep in mind when you need to say no: