“The art of leadership is saying no, not saying yes. It is very easy to say yes.” These are the words of Tony Blaire, a former British Prime Minister. Even for a very experienced politician, saying no takes courage and boldness. In my life, I experienced the same struggle – in 2003 when I was only ten years old. I was home alone on a normal Friday since my parents were at work. My friends, Brandon, Eric, and York, came back from the Vons Store and persuaded me to go to the park so we could try a new soda called the sprite remix. I was torn between my excitement to go try this new drink and my mother’s orders to stay at home. However, I was the youngest of the group and did not want them to think that I was a chicken so I decided to go along. When we arrived, we began to drink around the playground area; York started to imitate a WWE wrestler who spits out mists from his mouth. Eventually we all started to do the same thing. We began to spit the soda at each other and suddenly it turned into a soda fight. Soda went back and forth on the playground like an intense ping pong match. Brandon and I both ran out of soda so we dashed to the bathroom and locked ourselves in a stall. York and Eric came in after us and they started to splash us. Brandon and I were helpless and had no choice but to throw toilet water at them. This battle went on for about ten minutes until a cop came in. Brandon and I, not realizing that a cop just came in, continued to throw toilet water. Unfortunately, the cup of toilet water I threw landed on the cops shoulder. The room went silent so I knew something terrible happened. The cop yelled out; “Get out of the stalls!” I stealthily stepped out and the cops face was as red as wine. The cop figured out that it was toilet water when he saw the bottles inside the toilet. He made the four of us sit on the curb, called our parents, and we told them what had happened. As the cop made us clean the bathroom, tears ran across my face because I never got into trouble with the police before and I was ashamed of myself.
This event significantly changed my life and made me realize that it is necessary to say no in life. I believe that it takes courage to say no. Furthermore, there are always going to be people trying to persuade me to do something that in my heart, I know to be wrong. I realized that it is important to overcome the peer pressure and just resist the temptations that often come in my way.
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