Scrap the Word Should


Should is one of the most unhelpful words there is.

Think about how it feels when somebody tells you what you should do. It makes you feel compelled and under some kind of threat. It is bad for you. The other person is telling you that you deserve danger for not doing what they think you should do. They must know better.

Do you really know what another person should do?

Do you have the right to suggest to them that if they don't do what you say, that they have done what they shouldn't have done? Should is a judgemental word. It implies that you condemn the person who doesn't do what you think they should. It implies they must suffer or be punished. Are you not calling them bad or defective unless they do what you say?

The word should is unnecessary. It is dangerous for it reinforces the sense of failure and brokenness that exists in too many of us. It spews out a negative message.

"You shall not commit adultery" bellows the God of the Bible. It is so much better to say, "You can and will be faithful and kindly to your love partner". It is more helpful and encouraging. It honours you as a free person who can use their freedom beneficially.

Instead of "I should" say "I choose to" or "I want to". You could even say, "I could."

To say could instead of should is friendly and happiness conducing. Could says you can do it and I believe in you. Should says you may not be able to do it, you might not do it and you are a bad person. Could says, "Like me you can do it." Should says, "I hope you suffer if you don't agree with me."

People say you should want to believe in God. Many of them say you should believe in God whether you want to or not. Is it not better to want to recognise your own divinity?


OBJECTION: Should is okay if you say I think you should meaning I think this could be best for you. But I only think it and you may think differently and I respect that.


But the problem is you are still trying to lever your own agenda for the person.  We all know that most shoulds are mere opinions but that makes them no more endearing.


Don't think that you have to give alms or donation to charity to be charitable. All your giving helps others. Even buying a few tea bags does that. Do not tell others what they should do in a moralistic way. Should is moralistic.  Work hard to better the material universe as it is the only home you will ever have.  This is not a should.  It is about what you really want.

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