“Should” is one word I think should be eliminated from our vocabulary. Oops, guess that isn’t so easy to do! Every time I hear it, I cringe. My experience has been that “should” is usually accompanied by some standard established by “them,” you know, those faceless people who we allow to run our lives.

Where did ‘should’ come from?

          What is this ‘should’ and where did it come from? My guess is it came right from our childhoods, both at home and in school. And didn’t we do just a dandy job of incorporating it into our adult lives? Don’t we so effortlessly go about setting myriad standards based on these “shoulds”?

          “Should” is the simple past tense of the word “shall” but do these two words seem as far apart to you as they do to me? I “shall” do something sounds so purposeful and elegant while “should” sounds slightly angry and parental.

          I’m here today to say “No more!” It’s time to let go of
“should.” Regardless of where “should” came from, it’s time to unwind the habit of using it to share our knowledge, opinions, wants, and better judgments.

          I say, either do it or not and quit talking about it. Don’t waste everyone’s time by verbalizing what you know is best

but is clearly something you don’t want to do. And, as far as others go, NEVER say what someone else should or shouldn’t do. If the “shh” sound begins to escape your lips, immediately stop yourself. No one wants you to be their conscious or better judgment; leave that to them. They either will or won’t.

For me …

          Also, I know for myself, I rarely make any lasting changes from a negative stance. Thus, to wave a “should” in front of me is nearly a guarantee I won’t proceed. When I’m kind and compassionate with my less than glowing behavior, thoughts or words, I feel a slight shift toward the positive which is better than none.

          For entertainment I’ll check out that list of ten foods I shouldn’t eat (or clothes not to wear or things not to say or degrees to pursue or colors to dye my hair) but that’s all it is to me….a lineup prepared by “them.” And, as we all know, you shouldn’t listen to them……

Contact Antonia at Antonia@TheJoyofAgingGratefully.com