The Big Picture of Saying No to the Small Print

These days just getting a new e-mail account comes with reams of terms, which realistically, most of us in our exhaustion, apathy and acceptance of how ridiculous it has become, just sign without reading it all: but recently, I had a different experience. We just got a new insurance company to cover our new-to-us car.

I set up the coverage and paid for six months on the phone. Two weeks later I got the official ’application package’ where I was to put my signature in all the right places – but there was a clause in there which had not been mentioned before I started the policy with the payment.

The Small Print

I was to sign to allow myself to be a target for the worst kind of telemarketing. It said I did not have to sign but “…in order to complete the purchase and ensure the rate and effectiveness of the client’s desired insurance coverage…” they would need permission for the telemarketing… so basically, they were saying that if I did not sign, my premium would increase (as much as they wanted to increase it) and there would be no guarantee that they would take care of me if anything happened which is not a clause I wanted to accept, so I took a moment to consider my choices and feel what to do.

The Choice

I could do the easy thing and choose to compromise my own sense of what is right in order to sign it, keep my cheap rate and go about my life – but in doing so knowing I was allowing another big company to get away with ‘business-as-usual,’ in other words – bullying, blackmail and the oppression and abuse of many people for the profit of a few – or I could just deal with it and say “No.”

I was tired and I had lots of other things that felt important for me to take care of, but I could not sign (agree) to this and let accountability ‘slide’.

In my cancellation letter, I included my reason why. They still wanted to charge a $50 cancellation fee but I explained that when I agreed to the policy, they had not disclosed this stipulation. Six phone calls and over an hour of being on hold later, they waived the fee. The fourth representative was genuinely caring – she got me to an advisor and she made sure the fee was waived.

Throughout those phone calls I kept coming back to who I am by breathing gently and bringing my awareness to my body (so I would not slip into my old patterns of frustration) and I actually felt how lovely it was to be me and to be on the line with other human beings and that was beautiful. I found another company, more expensive, but worth every penny.

The Big Picture

Through the teachings of Universal Medicine, and as a result of being inspired to develop more and more self-care and love for myself and to take responsibility for all my choices, I have realised that everything is an opportunity to learn, understand and connect with myself and others.

Had I not had the role models and the support of people who are walking the talk, I’m sure I would still be missing these beautiful opportunities to deepen this love for myself, others and life on the whole and would still be struggling in an existence that previously made little sense to all that I feel inside. Had I not known people who are truly adhering to the deepest integrity found within us all (living in accordance to our inner most essence), I know I would still be contributing to my own un-wellness and to that which does not feel right to me about how we live in the world.

If we think we are safe or protected because we don’t live under a dictatorship, we need to look around. If we think we can sit back and expect to be treated with respect and fairness, because ‘we have democracy’ or money or a job or whatever… we need to look again and ask ourselves “What if life is about learning to take deeper levels of individual responsibility than what we have been doing?”

Corruption and oppression will continue to reign from corporations to the people and between people on personal levels all around the world for as long as we go along with it.

I am not advocating any mission, agenda or revolt, however I feel a responsibility to not allow abuse that I am aware of (including self abuse) to go un-named. I feel that when I accept less than respect, it is a loss for everyone, as this gives the world the message that we can do business or ‘get by’ at the expense of our humanity.

Coldness, separatism, oppression and harm will continue between people unabated until we claim that there is another way and live to show this other way by not leaving what we truly feel out of the equation in anything we do. In other words we can and will make a True difference when we no longer compromise on what we know is true for us all in order to stay in a form of social comfort.

I have drawn immense inspiration and support from Serge Benhayon and my practitioner Bina Pattel, who are living this other way by openly being and expressing from the fullness of who they are.

By Jo Elmer- Concord, CA USA

Further Reading:
The Importance of Expressing Truth
What Happens When We Do Not Speak Up?

588 thoughts on “The Big Picture of Saying No to the Small Print

  1. There is the bigger picture of saying no to the small print within ourselves also…. when we allow ourselves to get away with a wayward behaviour (and the little voice inside tells us its ok, when truly we know otherwise) then we are also on a slippery slope. For if we can’t say no to ourselves, how can we say no to others?

    1. Very true Rachel. We are always saying yes to something and the question is whether we are saying yes to what evolve’s us or yes to something that delays and distracts us from our evolution.

  2. It is great that we are not just talking about the act of responding to small print or saying no to abuse in its various forms here, we are talking about “the big picture”. Because no choice or act happens just in the privacy of our personal little circle, even our silence and complacency has an impact on the whole: it gives a green light to what we are staying complacent about.

  3. it has been said ‘the devil is in the detail’ – or we could choose to bring love to the detail – when we seal the openings where evil otherwise can enter and so pollute, sabotage, corrupt the potential clear expression of truth

    1. It has to be said love brings a simplicity that allows everything to unfold and complete in its true process, this is so simple and I have tended to get caught in complexity, which has opened me up to evil.

  4. The key is to say yes to love which, as a consequence, means saying no to abuse, including the abuse ubiquitous in fine print.

  5. It’s so easy to override and ignore the small print in any situation. Even a life situation that does not have any text has metaphorical ‘small print’. We can gloss over the details if they feel a little bit too challenging to deal with, and later down the track suffer the consequences of this. It’s definitely worth valuing ourselves enough to consider and deal with the smaller details at the time.

  6. Wonderful! Just wonderful. I love the way you have drawn the reader to consider our assumption that we are somehow safe living under democratic process, when in fact these sorts of tyrannies abound. They are highly effective because most of us just cannot be bothered to challenge them. We give up, give in, hand away our power to people who care nothing for the consequences, then we suffer when the consequences land in our laps.
    I have started to read the fine print more often before I sign myself away, but you have reminded my to do this with far more care and attention to detail. It is my life the stands behind the signature and is impacted directly by what i have said ‘yes’ to.

    1. “It is my life the stands behind the signature…” boy oh boy! when you put it like this, you can certainly feel the imprint of everything you are on the paper. God is in the detail.

  7. When we are willing to compromise our own selves we are most unlikely to speak what we we truly feel with others, so it begins with not compromising the truth within ourselves first.

  8. This is an important call to responsibility and one that I am not embracing in full… like ‘really, after all this time, I have got to read all the small print… surely companies have the integrity not to set out to hoodwink us…’ Many do, some don’t and I understand the responsibility we all have to spot and call out the hooks and hidden clauses that undermine trust and service in the world today.

  9. We certainly don’t even see the abuse when we are in the midst of comfort. Which is why when the rug is pulled from under us it can be the best thing to happen for it wakes us up to the truth of what we have been saying yes to and what we have been saying yes to is a lie.

  10. I wonder how many clauses and hidden small print terms lie in conversations and favours; do we ask of or do things for others out of true love and support all the time, or do we keep it in the back of our mind that they ‘owe us’ in some way or have things THEY knowingly or unknowingly have to do to deserve our support.

    1. When we do things for others out of love and support, are we not planting seeds that may also pass on these actions in others sometimes, just as the natural by-product?

  11. Skimming over details in small print is no different from skimming over any details in life – another exposure of irresponsibility.

  12. Often we let small details slide due to a ‘this will do attitude, or ‘I don’t have the time for this way of thinking.’ Problem is wether it be immediately or further down the track this has an impact of some sort, either on our self or another. Attention to detail is super important and to not develop this is irresponsible.

    1. Agree one hundred percent here, to not develop our attention to detail is an irresponsibility. As it impacts more than just ourselves. If something comes to us, it is our responsibility to address it in full, with our full attention and awareness, which then brings to the fore the awareness of the detail and what is needed.

  13. “We can and will make a true difference when we no longer compromise on what we know is true for us all in order to stay in a form of social comfort.” When we stand up for truth – and don’t compromise – and everyone else begins to do so too – this will expose the level of abuse we have actually been accepting.

  14. It can be easy to roll over and accept unfair injustices to not make a fuss and not rock the boat. But through personal experience I am finding the devastating effect of what keeping quiet brings…but equally what comes with the power when we do speak up.

  15. The more and more i live life with the understanding of the importance of true responsibility and the ever deepening of this that is possible the more I see that love is in the detail and anything felt and not acknowledged in this leaves an opening for what is not love to be accepted as ok.

  16. How Wonderful that you felt able to do this and stand up for yourself and everyone based on the way you see things now, and the role model of Bina in your life. We can be so inspired when we see and feel another living their life with the authority of what they feel to be true, its like giving ourselves permission to stand up and be counted.

  17. A very revealing read, one that makes myself for one feel a little uncomfortable of how much I have not bothered to read the small print. What is coming to awareness is “the small print” is daily life. How much do I let slide in the general living of life? Certainly less since reading this article.

  18. The small print is actually the large print in bright neon lights. It is a choice to see it as the small print that allows us to override and ignore it. It is also the part that we are most invested in, which means there is no doubt it was seen to begin with.

  19. The thing with the small print is that we have to take the time to read it, rather than just gloss over it. If we don’t it sets up complication for the future. It is the same with our bodies. If our body is giving us messages and we ignore it by not reading what it is telling us then we lose an opportunity to address things on the spot and avoid them becoming an issue in the future.

  20. This article is an ongoing call for me to take responsibility for the details that make up the big picture, and I appreciate the inspiration here, however resistant I might be

  21. What I am understanding more and more is that its in the detail of what we do and don’t say yes to that really matters, at the same time we can get an instant knowing about a product, brand of what is on offer. Sometimes things may appear in one way but underneath the surface the truth is very different matter.

  22. We have all seen the products that have the pull tab on the label to read more information on the back or a recipe. There is a lighter manufacturer that was sued so many times because there was no warning on their product, which now there is a foot long folded, with real small print on both sides of warnings on a pull out warning label. Most of the warnings are common sense like do let children play with them. Are we living in a world where no one trusts anyone anymore, is life now being defined by the small print?

  23. Its interesting how one can feel obliged or swept up along in the process of contracts to sign a contract, BUT… the beauty is, you can always say ‘No’ … you are not obliged, it is important to question and ask at any point along the way. One can apply this approach to life as well..

  24. We are so used to accepting a dysfunctional behaviour from service providers and companies in our lives… It does take diligence and tenacity to take a stand… Well done!

  25. What is it about us that is so un-assured that we cannot take control of a situation as it presents itself even the lies coming from another do not get recognised as abuse? Could it be that we have lived so much in a situation where abuse of every kind is normal so we accept the impositions that are abusive and stand idly by? When true love enters the equation all judgments do not even enter into our thoughts so we are left alone to make loving choices that have no impact on us. The simplicity of saying no to abuse and feeling the loving connection that this brings self-empowerment for everyone equally!

  26. When we keep saying yes to just a few things that aren’t right eventually we end up a long way off course.

  27. Detail is super important and reveals much that can be otherwise missed, negated or ignored.
    In the detail is the intricacy of understanding, true knowledge, universal intelligence and a call to order, responsibility and clarity.

  28. Standing up for ourselves and for truth starts with small things. The small things then comprise the bigger picture and form how we are in life.

  29. Corruption plays out in so many disguises we don’t seem to recognise it anymore, it has become part of the norm.

  30. Whenever we make life about security and fulfilling individual needs we allow tolerances in life and will defend them with everything we have as if we are honest about it, we’d realize the level of abuse that we allow in our lives for the sake of individuality which ultimately has a detriment effect on humanity as a whole.

  31. It does take courage to say ‘no’ and be on the receiving end of reaction in full force being flung back at you…but then on realising the consequences of remaining quiet and taking the path of least resistance taking those steps becomes necessary even if a little scary. I have much appreciation for all those who walk before me prepared to put their neck on the line for truth and not back down.

  32. Good call Jo, often we can’t be bothered to read the small print, and the companies in question know this, and rely on us not wanting to read the small print. How often have we signed up for something and then all of a sudden we are bombarded with phone calls from a call centre wanting to do a survey on our spending habits, so that more companies can target us. Saying no has to start somewhere and this is as good as any place to start.

  33. The naming of abuse requires us to be open and willing to fully see that abuse, and as we do there will be more and more abuse that becomes clear including our self-abuse. The naming of it as such, without being on any mission inherently asks us to deepen our own love, and through that more love is available for all.

  34. “because ‘we have democracy’ or money or a job or whatever… we need to look again and ask ourselves “What if life is about learning to take deeper levels of individual responsibility than what we have been doing?” Currently in the UK there is an election underway and in our so called democracy which one would ‘assume’ is free from propaganda. However this is not the case, we are being literally bombarded with biased news towards the current government by preciously perceived impartial broadcasters like the BBC. It is quite disheartening to watch and I have struggled to not react to this. But when we feel what is at stake right now, of course every trick in the book is being used to try and get a result that is pro separation. Like you share we need to look at our individual responsibility.

  35. Wo Jo, I love this, you have totally inspired me as I have been someone who can just ticks boxes in order to just get it done, but what you are saying is so true and if we all make a stand against this abuse that we know is not true then we will soon find this abusive way of doing things ceases to exit.

  36. In society what your article shows is just how much we protect ourselves and how much we try to pull over one another through the use of the small print in things, the transparent and open nature of working together is very rare and it is the hidden detail that we need to be aware of. This though reflects what I’ve come to understand about many things in life, for example we may love the “community” aspect of an institutional religion and be part of it because of that but ignore the “small print” about the abuse, corruption and genocide that is part of that religion. Perhaps our contracts are exposing far more about how life works that we first realise.

  37. Living truth in every detail brings a clarity that reflects back to us, and we can ‘see’ so much more.

  38. Accepting deals that compromise truth say it’s ok to live less than love and basically opens the door to bullying, control, manipulation and all kinds of abuse. When we stand up for truth and love we give permission for everyone to do so too.

  39. I must admit to ticking the box saying ‘agree’ when I’ve downloaded a new piece of software for my computer or phone. There is an element of trust, and I assume everything is going to be OK, but I don’t really know what I am agreeing to. Its a shame that some companies take advantage of this and don’t make it clear that people may be signing up to something they would rather not. It also flags up that we must take more responsibility for what we say ‘yes’ to.

  40. If we dont tackle the so called smaller abuse we will miss out on the big ones too. This is because abuse is abuse there is no difference because the volume as abuse has a certain quality in energy what needs to get called out.

  41. It is so vitally important we stand up for what is right in these circumstances. It is our collective apathy that has allowed corporate corruption to flourish, and it is only through removing corruption from our lives that we will disallow it from society. I love what you stood for Jo, it is closing the door on something unacceptable.

  42. We really have to stay discerning, for sometimes with things like renewing contracts there can be times when establishments try and pull a fast one by suggesting something was in the small print when in fact it was not, and that needs calling out too.

  43. It is empowering to realise that in saying ‘no’ to the seemingly small stuff, what we are actually standing for is Love and truth. We all have the power and as such the responsibility to arrest that which is not of Love through our every choice we make, in every situation we are met with. We all know deep within what feels true and what does not. As such with every choice we have the opportunity to re-claim the space we occupy with Love by standing strong and saying ‘no’ to the corruption, lovelessness, and abuse we feel in our lives.

  44. The responsibility of being ourselves in expressing what is true from the heart is a great healing to everyone, us and the whole world gets this medicine. Every moment of our lives is an opportunity to heal if that is what we choose. True there may be a lot that comes in the way of living who we are naturally, but the simplicity of this is, being ourselves naturally is actually the easiest expression, and a way which does not drain us or harden us–so really it is about how much we are willing to care for and treasure ourselves.

  45. ‘Had I not known people who are truly adhering to the deepest integrity found within us all (living in accordance to our inner most essence),’ And also what I have found is that these student of the Livingness, also have integrity with the words they use and the energy the words come with, so this means no wool is ever been pulled over your eyes to keep you in the dark and hide the lies.

  46. It is always interesting to read about what goes on in the small print, and what stands out to me is the fact that a person wrote it, it came from someone who woke up that morning, who has parents, perhaps cousins, maybe children and a partner, friends, people they meet in the coffee shop or at the library. They are a person with a life outside of work and one day they arrived at work and were given the task to write a policy by their boss who also has a life outside of work and who was also told to generate a policy. And so on the chain goes with lots of people arriving at work each day and doing as they are told because it is their job to do so, perhaps so the bills can be paid, perhaps so they can afford that next holiday – special time with their family. This all says to me that we must never make the incongruincies of the big corporations personally or to make them personal, as they can simply be a result of people feeling disengaged with their jobs and perhaps not fully valued for what they can bring in their truest expression to the workplace. So when this kind of policy or corporate behaviour is seen, it is important to highlight the fact in a most loving way, so that everyone has the opportunity to return to their own loving expression in their own loving way.

  47. It is so easy to slip into frustration in these situations and dealings with corruption in corporations, so good on you for making it about people first and staying connected to that, rather than focusing on the issues of the situation.

  48. Coming to a point in our lives where something like this we would just signed away and not think anything of it, well that would have been years ago. Today I can say that I too have a level of worth that now I won’t accept anything that is less than what I deserve. Down to the very last detail.

  49. It is never not worth speaking the truth for in holding it back we prevent true loving change, we negate truth and love in favour of all that is false and unsupportive of us all in this world.

  50. Question, is there a law about the size of information on a product? There are laws about what must be disclosed like ingredients and hazard information. But, what use is it, when you need a magnifying glass to read them? So, why don’t TVs and mobile phones have a small book of the hazards of the prolonged use of these drugs that cause addiction and long term dependance?

  51. Whilst it may seem easier at times to overlook the details that do not sit right, in the long term we always will come to revisit what we have not dealt with.

  52. There is love in taking care of the detail, yet this is often where we can get caught. If we are prepared to open our eyes and take care to see the truth in and around us, it exposes all those areas where the trickery and abuse lies. It firstly starts with ourselves, what we are saying yes to in our own lives.

  53. It is interesting how life is set up to distract us from ‘reading’ the small print. Yet when we bring our full awareness to life it lights up and magnifies what is true.

  54. “In other words we can and will make a True difference when we no longer compromise on what we know is true for us all in order to stay in a form of social comfort.” Very beautifully said, it is true that most of the time we do not share what we feel because of not wanting to stand out and be socially accepted. Yet what I remembered is that it is in the end for all of us if we stand up for our own feelings of something not being right like a system that is loveless. Even though we may not be liked at that instance as it challenges, never underestimate the effect that one choice has and how much it can inspire someone when we share how we feel.

  55. After reading this blog the other day I had the opportunity to read the terms and conditions on an agreement I was getting myself into with my local bank, and could they make them any longer. I had to read them in stages and keep coming back – it’s a far cry from the gentleman’s hand shake, but at the end of the day it is for us to know what we are saying yes to.

  56. Often the people who are being asked to implement the small print, such as cancellation fees, understand that it doesn’t apply to everyone in all circumstances, but they feel their hands are tied by the policies and beauracracy in place. By staying with ourselves and not allowing ourselves to get caught in it, we offer them and opportunity to see if there is any room for movement in these policies.

  57. The ‘small print’ can also occur in a verbal conversation such as in a sales transaction in a shop (for example) when the seller speaks super quick and sounds in a hurry glossing over some ‘minor’ points… remembering not to get pulled along by the speed of transaction, but to stay with your own rhythm (body) to pull back and check over the finer detail.

  58. A think I have found too these days is that some companies offer three months free trial, no obligation to pay anything when the there months is up but they take your credit card details. It is true you can cancel any anytime but they make it so hard to find out how to cancel. One I heard of through Amazon was taking seventy pounds a year and it was impossible to trace back how to cancel.

  59. We think evil are the obvious things but really it is the more hidden and unseen forces that effect us everyday if we do not stop and call it out for what it is. The moment we compromise ourselves in one area we affect all other areas of our lives and truth is never ever worth compromising.

  60. When we are tired we often drop the bundle, and all our best intentions go out the window. I find that if I am super loving with my self when I am tired then I can remain focused and committed on what I know to be true for me.

  61. It’s very easy to go along with things and say yes for an easier life but none of the underlying abuse in the small print, as you have shared Jo, will change unless we say No and expose it or what it is. A further and deeper step with Responsibility, thank you.

  62. I loved reading that you cancelled your policy and stood up to the truth of what was originally in place, companies making additions like this and hiding it in the small print are not being honest and upfront with their customers and if that is the case what else are they not being honest or upfront about.

  63. I squirm a bit when I read this article because I know I gloss dismissively over the small print in contracts. My attention to detail is strong in other areas of my life, so what step to responsibility am I avoiding here? I am glad for the opportunity to explore – thank you.

  64. the detail includes every single aspect of our lives, Serge has presented that ‘everything is everything’ and there is no difference in quality no matter what we are doing. what we bring to the detail is what we bring to the all.

  65. Reading this blog today makes me to consider that everything matters in life, also the small print I tend to not read because of the many details in it but actually are part of life, of our current societies. I can react to that and say that I do not want to live in a world that ruled by the small prints, and that for me is true but the fact is that I do live in that world and have to live with it otherwise I will be caught up in it if I try to ignore its existence. Only through our livingness we can make a change and when we accept to be part of something that is actually not supporting to our societies we can make it more visible by the way we go along with it and in that expose this illness, that it actually is, in our societies.

  66. The reality of the importance of the small print exposes the importance of looking at and living by the details in every aspect of our lives and everything not attended to or dismissed comes back to open us in some way or another as the complete whole of what we bring as who we are is needed in the bigger picture of life.

  67. As you say Jo, we ca never let accountability ‘slide’ . We are accountable for the vibration we stand in and emanate every moment. It effects everything.

  68. I would pay more for any service that is run with integrity because that is what we all deserve as human beings–respect. If a business tells me it is cheaper because they have also withheld respect and integrity towards its customers, then this price is not a benefit–because what we are charged always comes with the small print of whether there is care and respect or not. I would not give my energy to those businesses who do not care enough to be caring to their customers, simply because respect and integrity is really just the most basic human relations! So in a world when we purely do business looking at how much something costs, have we really “read” the fine print, and do we accept the lack of care or abuse in other words, that comes normalised with it? Ultimately the question is, how much do we feel we are worth?

  69. When we place an unequal emphasis on some parts of our lives, are we not ourselves trying to create small print (and large print) where there is none?

  70. Yes it starts with the micro…every day moments between each other where we choose love instead of hate, choose to be inspired instead of jealous etc…

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