Thursday, July 10, 2008

What the heck is the deal with "shoulds?"

Q: What's all this "should" business about? Why make such a big deal about a word that's used every day?
A: Just because it's used every day does not mean it is healthy or helpful.

1 - "Should" assumes that there is an agreed upon governing body of principles that we can ALL defer to in order to determine morality and standards. It assumes that you and I have knowingly and willingly entered into an arrangement stating, "We will both respect and follow the dictates of this system. We will agree upon how people should behave, how they should appear, what they should value."

Is this true? Hardly. You are bound to encounter people different from yourself in this world, who have different values. All of us carry around our own governing systems based on ideas we have learned throughout our lives, and most people believe theirs are definitely "right." However, it is exactly this narrow faith in an invisible "objective committee" which leads us to condemn ourselves and others, and causes problems in our relationships. It is a set up for judgment, condemnation, even wars.

Suffice to say, there is no objective moral standard for living that all individuals in a diverse world will completely agree upon, and so the term "should" holds no universal meaning. It's useless!

Do shoulds make your life better or harder? Do they help or hurt your relationships? Tell me what you think!

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