Friday, October 26, 2018

“I Shouldn’t Use the Word ‘Should,’ Should I?”

by John Boodhansingh of Zero Mindfulness

“Should” is a pushy word.

I know a lot of people use it without intending harm, but the instances are few when “should” may be appropriate.

One of the few, for example, is if you were to adopt a dog. The former owner might say to you, “You should feed the dog two times per day; once in the morning and once in the early evening.” The owner need not say, “you should,” but at least in my view, I don’t see any harm in using such phrasing.

Otherwise, “should” is often problematic because it tends to be interpreted as unsolicited advice, something that nobody likes receiving. It likewise carries an implication that the one being “should-ed” isn’t “good enough,” is flawed in some way, etc.

In an ideal world, if the word “should” were still in existence, this perception would not arise. As life is, though, “should” tends to trigger peoples’ weak self-images.

Rather than thinking, “I’m not always right, and I can freely consider what this person is suggesting and then do some research and make an informed decision,” the tendency is to react with, “What!? Are you saying I’m wrong? Are you saying I’m not smart enough? Are you saying I’m not capable enough?”

This goes for even the simplest of things, so caution is best.

Dissatisfied Want

A very common theme with “should-ing” is that the givers define their personal level of satisfaction by whether or not others are doing what is acceptable to them.

“Should-ers” press others to change under the faulty belief that it is their right and responsibility to change them. Since “should-ers” see others as the problem instead of themselves, their hope is that others will change and thus bring to them the selfish and “satisfying” ends they desire.

“Should” Denies Reality

A prime example of this can be seen in the perspective of a great many parents and, in even greater part, “authority” and society as a whole with regard to education.

If you get a “C” on a math test, your parents might well tell you, “You should have done better.”

Holding on to false expectations about your performance, they say this because they wish to vicariously live those coveted “A’s” through you, their child. They define themselves—their worth—by how they, family, friends, and so on judge themselves and each other in relation to society’s “Almighty Standard.”

But here’s the thing: You shouldn’t have done better because you didn’t.

There’s only now and “what happened and has passed.” So unless you really should have gotten a higher grade but you got a “C” because your teacher hates you and deliberately manipulated your score, “should-ing” is irrelevant.

Nothing except exactly what had happened “should” have happened because nothing else did happen.

Your parents could say, “You should have done better.” Or they could say, “You should have removed that bowl of beef stew from the microwave before your test.” Both are absurd because they have no bearing in reality. They have no relevance to the singular experience that has come and gone. (Unless leaving your beef stew in the microwave caused you heinous anxiety that distracted you during testing.)

You got a “C” on the test. Congratulations. You achieved the exact mark you were supposed to achieve. Hopefully on your next test you’ll again get an equally perfect grade.

Who Cares?

People beat up themselves and each other madly over this stuff.

Students (nearly all of us) acquire such a hefty burden of, You’re not good enough unless… Peoples’ value is heavily judged—as in, their worth as human beings—by their intellectual ability across all “authority”-designated subjects.

But really, why should anyone care so much whether or not anyone fails social studies and is only par at math, especially if they excel in music or science or writing? (And everyone excels at something, even if they’re not yet sure at what.)

None of these subjects have any bearing on who we inherently are as humans. And while some subjects (such as math) are useful to the average person, although typically only at basic levels, any given subject is generally appreciated and thus desirously expanded upon by only a relatively small set of people who truly do gravitate towards it.

Does a farmer need to know how to implicitly differentiate a function or what the key supreme court cases were in the 1970’s?

Does an English-speaking math whiz from the USA need to know the capitol of Yugoslavia or the Spanish-to-English translation of, “Mi pollo está muy frío en la bañera”?

Does an artist need to memorize the periodic table or know how the Krebs Cycle works?

Do any of them care?


And what about all the subjects that everyone would do well to know—for the sake of sense, sanity, and/or survival—but are completely absent from the vast majority of curriculums?

What about basic skills such as cooking, first aid, house maintenance, emotional management, etc.?

How come no one is talking about all the “F’s” that people are indirectly receiving on these? How come no one is demanding passing grades on these most basic of life skills? Shouldn’t more people be learning these without needing to join Boy or Girl Scouts or having to first wreck their lives in order to realize that maybe they're imbalanced emotionally, "normal" though they may seem?

Self-Study for the Win

I’d say that on average throughout all of my schooling I was a “C” student.

I’ve no doubt that this was due to disinterest and a weak “have to prove myself” mindset. I’d felt the latter, yes, but it had been thoroughly overshadowed by the “I’m a failure” mindset.

Now here’s the ironic part: As poorly as I’d done year after year after year, I’m currently (so I’d like to think) quite a “well-rounded” person.

This is with very little thanks to the education system, and greatly in thanks to my own naturally-developed interest in a diverse range of topics.

I’ve taken it upon myself to learn via countless books, videos, websites, classrooms, and first-hand experiences in all sorts of areas that have interested me—many of these areas being a combination of ones that the education system had tried to stuff down my throat before I was ready and ones that the system refuses to touch.

With minimal exception, I’ve become far smarter, wiser, and more intelligenter … ;-) …in all the ways that matter to my specific life purpose, personal interests, and needs than anything conventional schooling has been able provide for me.

Rounded Schmounded

These “higher education” “authorities” will argue that students must (i.e.: “should” with force) take a variety of courses unrelated to their areas of interest in order to be “well-rounded.”

Do you know what I have to say about that?

Well-rounded, my ass.

If anyone actually still thinks that Big Education has the best interest of the people, they are so sorely deluded.

Here is but one massive example of why they don't, and it comes straight from the proverbial horse’s mouth… or maybe from the literal donkey’s mouth, because, man, these people are nothing short of asses…

Project Veritas
Undercover Common Core Vid: Exec Says "I hate's all about the money"

Set Your Own “Bar”

Every healthy being has an innate drive to be better today than yesterday.

Trouble is, most people don’t have an accurate sense for this drive because they’re too caught up in the need-to-be-good-enough rat race dumped on us by “authority.” What would otherwise be self-competition with a full dose of self-acceptance is instead competition-against-other with a nasty dose of self-loathing.

“How good am I compared to ‘The Almighty Standard’?”
“How good am I compared to those who have reached ‘The Golden Bar’?”

Folks… To hell with “The Almighty Standard” and “The Golden Bar,” and to hell with those who set them.

It can’t even be said that the system is broken because for something to be broken is to say that the thing must have formerly been whole. Yet any and all of these systems, as created by those who call themselves “authority,” have been inherently distorted from the get-go—by design.

Any how can they not be? They’re built on a foundation of “shoulds” which are marketed deceptively and thrust upon us by threat and force.

It’s time to move on, people.

It's time to learn to trust in ourselves; to be who we truly are instead of who some selfish external "authority" says we "should" be.

For it is from this space and only this space that we cease to "should" others and "should" ceases to hold power over us.

This is the space of freedom.

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