A few thoughts on the real s-word: “should”

Should. The little word that shouldn’t.

If I could choose to drop one word out of my vocabulary it would be the dirty s-word.

bruce-eric-kaplan-woulda-coulda-shoulda-next-new-yorker-cartoon

Should.

Think about it, should implies judgement, should implies failure to do something, should implies not living up to expectations. Every time I feel the s-word creeping into my awareness or forming its roundedness on my lips I quickly try to replace it.

Could.

Might.

Possibly.

You hear it everywhere. People should do it this way or that way. People should have done something differently. People should have taken action. Others should do this or that. Judgment at best, scorn at worst.

See if you can catch yourself using the little word that shouldn’t. Change it up to a could, might, or choose to and feel the difference, it’s quite liberating.

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