The ‘N’ Word

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François Dionne

Ladies and gentlemen: I made the decision to say the ‘N’ word more frequently. It’s a controversial and sometimes politically incorrect term that may make me unpopular, but it’s seldom uttered.

It’s OK to say the ‘N’ word. I use it with friends, family members, neighbours, colleagues and even with my girlfriend. If I use the ‘N’ word on you, it’s not an attack. You’re still a beautiful person, and I respect you.

Yet people are scared of the ‘N’ word. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid that pronouncing it will cause disappointment or even anger. That’s perfectly normal because after all, humans are social animals. We all want to please and be approved by our peer group. But let me ask a question: would you rather be liked or respected? I choose the latter. It’s better to be unpopular for the right reason than to be popular for the wrong reason.

We all get pressure from society. We’re stressed from the workplace, school, friends, family members, and the media. We’re asked to perform, to conform, to succeed, even to look a certain way! We’re too young or too old, too fat or too skinny. Advertising sells the lie that buying their product will make you more popular. Social media has become a contest to get more “likes.” The problem is that we have only twenty-four hours in a day. And what if we’re demanded to do something that is unethical, illegal or dangerous? Oh no! Then it’s appropriate to use the ‘N’ word.

The ‘N’ word is “No.” Say it with confidence. Treat it with respect when you hear it.

Originally Published on Vol.49 Issue 11 on March 18th, 2020