Should You Do What I Want You To Do, Or Should I?

So I’m racking my brain to try to think of something to post. I was dead tired last night and I couldn’t even think straight, so I wasn’t about to try to write something legible for you to read because it would probably look like a combination of rants and long 3 syllable words.

Needless to say it would be terribly boring.

So I think I’m going to talk about something that has been a theme for the week in my sessions and in my social networking. Its a funny concept called “should.”

It all started with the crazy Facebook messages I started getting last Thursday. The posts went something like this:

“No one should die because they don’t have healthcare, and no one should go broke because they get sick.”

Well that sounds awfully nice, doesn’t it. Very altruistic. Then I thought about something.

The word “Should.”

Should is a funny word. Webster’s fourth definition of should defines should as “used to express what is probable or expected.”

What is probable or expected depends on the person saying it. Clearly, this instance was blatant and shameless plug for the new healthcare reform bill that is currently in the senate. I’ve already said my peace about that, so I won’t get into it (nor do I want to have a political discussion. I’ve learned when you talk about religion and politics, its like poking a lion at the zoo). Anyway, the thing that ticked me off the most is someone telling me what should and shouldn’t be based on certain conditions of what they believe.

Well, heck! Why stop there! Let’s keep going with this “should” thing shall we. For example: No one should be allowed to use the “N” word, but Kanye West and Jay-Z do it all the time. No one should be without a job when they need work, but we’re at a 9% unemployment rate. No one should be mean to each other, but lets face it, that’s never going to change. No one should treat the people they love so poorly that it makes people wonder if they love that person at all.

See, two can play at this should game. Sadly, should is not just a funny word, its a funny concept.

Its called FantasyLand. If should is what is probable or expected, it is probable or expected according to my own point of view. When you ask a society to do something based on should, you’re basically asking them to take on your worldview and agree with you long enough for the rest of the world to make change.

Wow. That sounds like a tall order. Not saying its impossible, but if you’re looking to do this, you had better have enough money to not work for a while, because that’s probably all you’re going to be doing (this is basically saying that this stuff is in the Outside World, which is usually stuff you can’t control).

However, there is something you can change. You.

Yes, that’s right, you. When it comes to should, you have direct control over what you should do. Let’s take a look at my should statements, and instead of saying “no one” I’ll put “I” instead.

I should never use the “N” word, even though Kanye West and Jay-Z use it all the time. I should never be without a job when I need work, despite the 9% unemployment rate. I should not be mean to anyone. I should not treat the people I love so poorly that it makes people wonder if I love that person at all.

Suddenly, should isn’t FantasyLand so much, is it? Suddenly should is something attainable. What happened? Personalization. We personalized the statement so it is applicable to our own lives. Imagine what you can accomplish if you think about what you should be doing, versus what you are doing right now.

This can be a building block for what you want to do with your life and who you want to be. I should be able to do this, and if I’m not, what’s going on there? It allows you to take an honest look at what your core values are, and how you can apply them to your life.

So before you ask others to agree with your should statement, ask yourself if you’re doing all you “should” to be the best person you could be.

So what do you think? Is should applicable to all peoples, or is it better served starting with oneself. Talk to me.