Should we avoid 'shoulds'?
The title of this post is a copy of one in a recent edition of the FT Weekend magazine (my favourite magazine - always a good read). A great column in the mag is "The Shrink and The Sage" that features questions like the one in this title with an opinion written from a psychotherapy and a philosophical viewpoint. Anyway - enough of the ad for the column and to the point of this post.
One of the unexpected consequences of me studying for my doctorate was the development of an allergic reaction to the word 'should'. Having had my philosophical mind levered open by the philosophy of management research classes, to hear people saying "She should do this…" "He should do that…" "People shouldn't do that…" drives me mad. Who says they should? Life is far more nuanced than a set of defined rules.
Trying to get over this latest foible of mine, it was useful to read what the Shrink and the Sage said.
We do well to not believe that we 'should' do things for irrational, unfounded, reasons.
We do well to question and maybe challenge the people who exert their opinion about what's right and wrong for no apparent good reason, but also
If we want to achieve certain objectives, live in certain situations, work with certain people, then there are conditions for doing so with respect and in harmony.
So - I learned that my allergic reaction to the word should was silly - and that the word 'should' is OK if it's also associated with a condition, an 'if'.
If I want to communicate clearly in this blog, I should think more before writing!!