A thought provoking poem on attitude and self esteem…from Chicken Soup for the Women’s Soul

    When Angela was very young,

    Age two or three or so,

    Her mother and her father

    Taught her never to say NO.

    They taught her that she must agree

    With everything they said,

    And if she didn’t, she was spanked

    An sent upstairs to bed.

    So Angela grew up to be

    A most agreeable child

    She was never angry

    And she was never wild;

    She always shared, she always cared,

    She never picked a fight,

    And no matter what her parents said,

    She thought that they were right.

    Angela the angel did very well at school

    And, as you might imagine, she followed every rule;

    Her teachers said she was so well-bred,

    So quiet and so good

    But how Angela felt inside

    They never understood.

    Angela had lots of friends

    Who liked her for her smile;

    They knew she was the kind of gal

    Who’d go the extra mile.

    And even when she had a cold

    And really needed rest,

    When someone asked her if she’d help

    She always answered YES.

    When Angela was thirty-three, she was a lawyer’s wife.

    She had a home and family and a nice suburban life.

    She had a little girl of four

    And a little boy of nine,

    And if someone asked her how she felt

    She always answered, “Fine.”

    But one cold night near Christmastime

    When her family was in bed,

    She lay awake as awful thoughts went spinning through her head;

    She didn’t know why, and she didn’t know how,

    But she wanted her life to end;

    So she begged Whoever put her here

    To take her back again.

    And then she heard, from deep inside,

    A voice that was soft and low;

    It only said a single word

    And the word it said was…NO.

    From that moment on, Angela knew

    Exactly what she had to do.

    Her life depended on that word,

    So this is what her loved ones heard:

    NO, I just don’t want to;

    NO, I don’t agree;

    NO, that’s yours to handle;

    NO, that’s wrong for me;

    NO, I wanted something else;

    NO, that hurt a lot;

    NO, I’m tired, and NO, I’m busy,

    and NO, I’d rather not!

    Well her family found it shocking,

    Her friends reacted with surprise;

    But Angela was different, you could see it in her eyes;

    For they’ve held no meek submission

    Since that night three years ago

    When Angela the Angel

    Got permission to say NO.

    Today Angela’s a person first, then a mother and a wife.

    She knows where she begins and ends,

    She has a separate life.

    She has talents and ambitions,

    She has feelings, needs and goals.

    She has money in the bank and

    An opinion at the polls.

    And to her boy and girl she says,

    “It’s nice when we agree;

    But if you can’t say NO, you’ll never grow

    To be all you’re meant to be.

    Because I know I’m sometimes wrong

    And because I love you so,

    You’ll always be my angels

    Even when you tell me NO.”

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