“No More” is a motivational and inspirational story about the ability to say no and the prevention of bullying.
Every child is confronted with some form of violence and bullying at some point. In “No More”, our hero, Sam, suffers from bullying and he is unable to cope with the aggression and violence he is exposed to. He cannot say no.
But this all changes, when Sam experiences a constitutive moment and decides to never allow anyone to hurt him again. He decides to say “No!” Learning Judo and self defense helps him come to this realization. Judo builds his confidence and self esteem and his ability to stand for his own and say No when it is required.
The story “No More” is really a story about every person’s life. Our modern society is highly demanding. It moves very fast, it drives towards ambitions and accomplishments, and in certain ways, it is quite restrictive. More and more people find it hard to cope with and so live a life of frustration and isolation. The common reactions to this situation are either depression, which many times erupts in a volcano of terror, or continuous expressions of aggression or violence, which may be in the form of physical or emotional abuse. Such forms of aggression, violence or emotional abuse are common in workplaces, in schools, on the streets, at home, and in people’s private lives. There is probably no person on Earth, and certainly not in the Western society, who has not faced some form of violence in their early lives as children or throughout adulthood.
by Dr. Ben Shomer
On the cover page of every safety manual in the Israeli army (IDF), there is a reminder “Soldier, remember, these instructions were written with blood”.
“No More” was written over quite a few years with my blood. Many times, literally so. When I began writing my stories for children, this story was my immediate choice. I then understood that the story was already written in every cell of my body many years ago. It was simply waiting for an opportunity to erupt and come to life.
My vivid and clear childhood memories begin at an age of around 7-8 months old. I had it confirmed. So I do remember the early years of my childhood very clearly.
It was, generally speaking, a happy childhood. Yet, I do clearly remember my Mom often stating firmly “You don’t say No to Mom”. For me I guess, this was perceived as “You don’t say No”, period. As a child, I had a terrible problem in standing up for myself. Mom is quite a fearful person and certainly, I absorbed that fear even without words. That is, at least up to an age where I developed my own character.
Unable (and not permitted) to say “No”, being ill rather frequently and having a short stature, I was the perfect sitting duck for the incidental preying bully. And sure enough, one came into my life when I was at first grade. He was a big, strong, chubby boy and he made my life as miserable as can be. We used to walk a long way to school and he shared most of the path with me. It meant he was able to pest me on the way to school and back home, unsupervised. Not that supervision at school during breaks helped in any way. I lived in fear. I hated walking to school when he was around and I tried to avoid him in any manner possible.
Naturally, when you try to avoid an issue, when you run away from a problem – problem comes at you with an increased order of magnitude. The more I tried to avoid this bully, the more aggressive he became. I knew he had issues at home. His parents did not get along very well and were on the verge of a divorce (something which in those days, was not very common). Surely with time, his emotional state deteriorated and it inflicted on his behavior.
I used to come home injured and crying quite often. My parents finally understood the big mistake with their attitude and sent me to practice Judo. Everything I described in “No More” really happened, one for one. There is one particular event that happened during Judo classes which I mentioned in the book. I volunteered for a fight against the teacher. He grabbed me in a very painful manner, I was hung upside down, my back hurt, but I was stubborn and would not give up. He praised me in front of the whole class and I remember the huge impact it had on me. Finally, there was this person whom I admired, who praised me for my courage and performance. I wan’t used to that. I was the hero of the day, if not more. Perhaps this event lit the fire which drove my constitutive moment of transformation into being.
There are some unforgettable moments in every person’s life. For me, one such moment was on the way home from school, when this bully caught me on top of a small dirt hill, pushed me down to the ground and sat on me with all his weight, pounding me with his fists. At that very moment, I came to a realization that I will never allow anyone hurt me, no matter what the cost. I finally dared blowing my fist in his face, not caring what his response might be. The freedom of not caring, the determination and the empowerment all concentrated into that fist. He rolled down the hill and ran away crying with tears. This was the last time he ever dared touching me. Actually, it was almost the last time anyone ever dared touching me.
Bullying is driven by dis-empowerment and fear. As adults, we learn to be more subtle and politically correct but deep inside, we all remain those little kids we were many years ago. I often run into situations where bullying is spoken or written or is inflicted by seemingly non-violent actions. The bully is there with all of his or her might. It may be a boss at work, a partner, or even someone we don’t know, writing an email or posting in a forum or a blog. The same rule of life remains intact. If you reconcile with it, try to escape it, it will haunt you and only intensify. It will lower your self esteem and restrict your sense of freedom. Always stand up for yourself and say “No” when you should.
I teach people that one who can’t say “No”, is unable to “Yes” to life. If there is insecurity and uncertainty in the ability to say “No”, there will be a fear of hitting a situation that one cannot stop. So, instead of opening up to situations, one avoids them to begin with.
As a personal coach, author, speaker and presenter, Dr. Ben Shomer already assisted in transforming the lives of thousands of people. His motto is living a rich, peaceful, balanced and effective life based on unconditional love.
Throughout raising five children and his professional encounters with children and youth, Ben realized his high vision. To ensure peace and harmony in a sustainable, eco-balanced global community, we must work with future generations of children and educate them with leadership by personal example, based on character and values.
As part of his great vision, Ben writes entertaining, inspirational and motivational children’s books. His books always contain added value and a priceless lesson to life for both, children and their parents. His goal is to reach millions of children and their parents worldwide through his books and through author meetings.
Thanks for reading.