My least favorite word in the English language is “should”. I’m not sure why, but lately, every time I hear that word, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
Some people live their entire life around the word “should”. Have you ever met somebody like that? It’s almost as if their entire reason for being is to satisfy other people. They “should” do this, and they “shouldn’t” do that. You almost want to shake them and say, “What do YOU want to do?”
Watch any documentary today, and you’ll see that the conclusion that the movie comes to right before the credits roll, is that everybody “should” do something. We should all get political, or we should all start marching in the streets. Maybe we should all eat certain foods, or boycott certain stores.
But – says who? I just don’t like the idea of everybody trying to control everybody else.
What if you were in a relationship, because you “should” be together. What if you took her out to dinner because you “should”. Suppose you were together for years and years, being a good husband, and father, and provider solely because you thought you “should”. How depressing!
Now imagine that you “wanted” to be with someone. You wanted to take her out to dinner. You wanted to be a good husband, and father, and provider. Because you wanted her. You wanted to have kids, and you wanted to help them grow up in a world that you would want to live in. That all just seems so much cooler.
Imagine if your wife or husband looked you in the eyes, and asked you, “Why do you love me?”
What would you say? “Because I should?”
That would be a pretty selfless thing to say. Selflessness seems so admirable. A selfless love. But what’s really going on when someone is so charitable in romance? They abandon their wants and desires, for the wants of another. They “should” love her. That isn’t necessarily romantic, or admirable.
I want to be selfish — especially in love. I want to love someone because I want them. And I would expect the same from them. I want them to want me. I don’t want someone to stay with me for the sake of charity. I’d rather be alone.
“Should” also carries with it a certain mindlessness. People just say, “I should, I should, I should . . .” without asking, “why?” They say, “I should go and vote,” but they forget to research about who to vote for. Some say, “Everyone should eat this . . .” but they forget that everyone is different. How about, “I should go to college,” but you know – college isn’t for everyone.
It would be nice for me to say that, “Everybody should stop using the word ‘should’ so much!” But, you know, maybe I’m wrong. I could always be wrong. I don’t want to tell everybody what to do. All I want to do is do what I want to do. And that is — to stop using the word “should” so much.