The most Dangerous word you can use.
There are certain words that can cause us great harm, yet they are used each day and you hear them all the time. One of them stands out.
The word is powerful and motivating.
The word is also the destroyer of more people, institutions, societies and ideas then any other.
It robs people of everything from their motivation to their emotional well being to their lives.
It is one of the most powerful words in the English language and quite frankly in a vast majority of cases it is the root of evil in hearts, minds and actions of most people.
Yet most people hear it, everyday, all day.
You likely say it, everyday. To those you love as well as your rivals and enemies.
And it is likely killing you, more then anything else that you are dying from.
The word is SHOULD.
Think about that word for a minute.
How often do you say it? To yourself, to your partner, to your children, to your peers, to your rivals.
This is not a purely evil word. It in fact has powerful connotations that have likely formed the basis for your own personal constitution. It has formed your ethics, your values.
"A man should take care of his family."
"A mom should never leave her kids."
"A person should never have to go hungry in the richest country in the world."
"A person should be able to dress however they want in a free country."
"A cop should always de-escalate any situation."
"A criminal should go get a job like the rest of us."
All of those statements you may agree or disagree with. You may strongly agree or disagree with a lot of them.
"The world is against me from the day I was born, I should just go rob somebody that has it easier then I do."
"We should not have to let those guys into our turf to talk to our girls because they are bitches."
"I should not have to prostitute myself out, but there is no other way to get what I need."
"Everybody else should get out of my way because I am a bad motherfucker."
"The courts should be locking people up longer , they should NEVER get out."
"No one should own a gun."
"Abortion should be a woman's right to choose."
"The only person a man should have to answer to is the only true god, Jesus."
Chances are some of these statements just provoked a response in you.
Some of them may have provoked a POWERFUL response. Hell, it could have been a DANGEROUS response.
And that, my dear reader of the internet, Is the problem with SHOULD.
There are many contexts where "Should" will get people into trouble, possibly destroy them.
In the workplace:
"The company should be paying attention to what I am telling them! They are idiots!"
In your relationships:
"My (husband, wife, partner) should already know I hate it when they drink! They should respect me enough to stop it!"
In your politics:
"I should not have to work 80 hours a week to barely get by in this country, the government should do more!"
In the context of interpersonal violence, things can get very bad very quickly for you if you focus on what should be. Take these statements:
"I should be able to protect myself with a gun anywhere I go!"
"I should be able to go anyplace I damn well please."
"The courts should not be able to look at some crap I put on Facebook ten years ago in order to use it to say I am a murderer."
"Those kids over there should not be so rowdy in this movie theater."
"Those guys over there should not be drinking in the park!"
"This guy should not be walking down my street in the middle of the night."
"The hurricane is over, the government should get here with some water and food!"
"I should be able to drive down any street I want, the protesters should not be blocking traffic."
Here is the reality of the situation.
NOT ONE of the above statements, NOT ONE, mean a goddamned thing.
One person who reads it may agree with half of them and disagree STRONGLY with the other half.
Yet the next person may read the EXACT same group of statements and agree with the ones that the last guy didn't.
There is the danger in should.
You focus on what should be at your own peril.
When you focus on what "Should be" you try to make sense of what is going on in the world around you and your world view. You put judgments on things, your judgments based on your background, personal constitution and who you are.
But when you then take those judgments and place them onto other people, or you take those judgements and believe that others must conform to them, you will put yourself in a bad spot.
Because, newsflash, the other guy may disagree, in fact, he may feel as adamantly as you do, but is on the OTHER side.
In my professional life, I have seen a lot of people suffer. They have suffered emotionally, finically and physically. And all of them have used a statement with "should" in it to justify or articulate their suffering.
But one universal truth remains. The people who suffer the most, talk about what should be as if they can control it.
Nobody gives a shit what you think should be.
The world is full of what IS.
You need to accept that fact and get on with dealing with it.
In the world of violence, there are people who will do things that a person should never be able to do. Yet they do them. They rape, murder, steal, swindle. They take things to an extreme that you would never even consider.
Recently a longstanding feud between two neighbors in Pennsylvania ended in violence that many considered shocking. A man and woman started hurling insults at the neighbor across the street over snow removal. Insults were hurled, and the neighbor pulled a gun on the man and the woman. The woman pulled out her phone and started recording, saying something along the lines of "I have you on video motherfucker!" The man, raised his hands and stated "Fucking shoot me!"
The Neighbor fired a flurry of shots, hitting both of them. As they lay helplessly on the street, screaming for help, the neighbor went back into his house, came back out into the street with a long gun and fired on the husband. The husband stopped screaming.
He then walked over to the woman, laying in the middle of the street, pointed the long gun at her, as she tried to deflect it away from her.
The neighbor then said something along the lines of "you just couldn't shut up could you?"
He then finished her off.
This was shocking because it "Should NOT be that way." It "never should have happened."
It goes without saying that people should not murder others over snow removal and insults. No matter how much you have a problem with someone, you should not do that. That is crazy. This SHOULD NOT BE.
But it was.
Three people are dead, the neighbor went back into the house and killed himself afterward.
That is what it is.
That is the violence that you choose to ignore at your own peril when you decide to focus on what should be.
I am sure the two dead people did not think their dumbass neighbor would murder them over snow. I am sure they figured they had him pulling a gun on them on video, so he should go to jail now. I am sure they had hurled insults before but he shouldn't do anything about it this time because he is a pussy who should not be putting snow where he shouldn't.
But it is what it is.
It happened. Just like a lot of things happen that you don't personally think should be.
AT BEST, Saying "Should" about things and then rattling off how you feel is kind of like masturbating.
It feels good.
It accomplishes nothing.
And someone else does not like that you are doing it.
AT WORST, If you become so entrenched in your beliefs of what should be, you will put yourself at personal peril in a number of ways.
So stop it.
Do Not focus on what should be.
Focus on what is.