Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shoulds and Social Change (The Problem With Shoulds #6)

"Should" has always been used to maintain power imbalances and oppression. "The status quo," is a Latin term for "the ways things were before." Society has much invested in keeping things "the way they were before." Change is scary for anyone, especially for individuals in positions of power. Politicians, corporate leaders, religious figures -- anyone who feels threatened by change will tend to cling tightly to the status quo and use "should" as a means of manipulating others into doing the same.

Every minority group that has struggled for equal rights has had to confront this. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, The Women's movement of the 1970's, and currently those pushing ahead for gay/lesbian rights have had to deal with and dismantle traditional and oppressive "shoulds." Seen this way, living Absolutely Should-less is not only a valuable commitment to your own mental and spiritual health, but it is also a powerful statement in favor of social change.

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