Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Discuss the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes.

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Eckhart Aurelius Hughes
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Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Eckhart Aurelius Hughes »

This is a discussion forum topic for the November 2022 Philosophy Book of the Month, In It Together: The Beautiful Struggle Uniting Us All.


For those who want my advice, I always advise to avoid all shoulding of any kind, but...

When people tell you that you should do this, and you should do that, and you shouldn't of done this, or you shouldn't of done that...

You can tell them, "Stop shoulding on me. If you're going to should on anyone, go should on yourself."


Free-spirited (a.k.a. self-disciplined) people don't have shoulds and oughts. We neither ever believe nor say ever things like, "I shouldn't be eating this right now but I am."

We don't sacrifice our inner peace by resentfully spending our limited mental energy judging things we cannot control (i.e. cannot change), such as by considering something we cannot change and resentfully thinking it shouldn't be the way it unchangeably is, whatever that means. Rather, we fully and unconditionally accept what we cannot control (i.e. what we cannot change).

Instead, we think about about what we can do, and then choose from those cans. When it comes to our choices, we always get exactly what we want, meaning what we choose.

We don't look at the what other people or things are doing that we cannot control and resentfully think, "they should do this", or, "they should do that", whatever that means. Instead, we look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "what can I do?" And then from those many countless options of things we can do in our present, we choose what to do. How empowering! Self-responsibility, self-determination, and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) are so incredibly empowering!

In contrast, when one is wasting time shoulding all over oneself or on other people, wasting one's limited time, energy, and resources thinking about what other people or things 'should' be doing, then one isn't using that diverted limited time or energy thinking about what one can be doing oneself.

When one wastes time complaining or resenting the proverbial cards one is dealt instead of putting all that time and energy into playing those the cards the best they can, then one is thereby not playing those cards the best they can.

For us with this wonderful spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline), we get to enjoy the wonderful inner peace of looking at the outer world in all directions and not seeing anything at all that 'should' not be or that 'ought' not be, whatever that would mean. For those with this consistent wonderful inner peace, the would-be concepts of 'should' and 'ought', if they have can be thought of any having any real meaning at all, become the same as is, such that, for the one with inner peace, unchanging eternal reality as a whole is exactly as it should be. Perfect. Timelessly perfect. Inexorably perfect. Infinitely beautiful. Not worthy of one bit of resentment, hate, or unforgiveness. Instead, worthy of infinite love.

Consider what it is to look at reality as a timeless unchanging whole, including the choices one is choosing to make in one's present, and see something that is perfect and beautiful and ideal, rather than seeing something that should be different than it unchangeably is. Consider it. That is inner peace.

And here is perhaps the best thing about the consistent wonderful inner peace (a.k.a "true happiness" or "nirvana") that comes with self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom): Nobody can take it from you.


---

dont-should-on-me.jpg
My entire political philosophy summed up in one tweet.

"The mind is a wonderful servant but a terrible master."

I believe spiritual freedom (a.k.a. self-discipline) manifests as bravery, confidence, grace, honesty, love, and inner peace.
Donna Walker 1
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Donna Walker 1 »

"Stop shoulding on me. If you're going to should on anyone, go should on yourself." 

I totally agree with this statement. We are each individually responsible for our own happiness and spiritual development. It is extremely codependent to begin "shoulding" on other people. I used to do this a lot. It was my way to control and manipulate those around me, to mould them into what I wanted them to be. That is completely incorrect thinking and behavior, and it has resulted in numerous unhealthy relationships. I have found that I have so much more inner peace now I say to others, "You do you, and I'll do me." It works both ways, as you can see. Spiritual freedom entails allowing others to experience and be responsible for their own spiritual freedom as well.
Donna Walker 1
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Donna Walker 1 »

On the subject of "shoulds and oughts," I recently re-read The Science of Being Great by Wallace D. Wattles and I ended up writing this quote and putting it on my fridge:

"All's right with the world. Nothing can possibly be wrong but my personal attitude, and I will make that right. I will see the facts of nature and all events, circumstances, and conditions of society, politics, government, and industry from the highest viewpoint. IT IS ALL PERFECT, THOUGH INCOMPLETE. It is all the handiwork of God; behold, it is all very good" 

I loved this quote. It really did put my "so and so should be president" and "the government should do this," etc in check! 
OTrain M
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by OTrain M »

Yes, we all carve our own happiness and when we think about what we can do, as you have said above, we tend to feel more happiness because our expectations are based off what we can control, not what is out of our control. You have pretty much have said it all, but people should also learn to know how to advise people. They tend to confuse it with instructing/commanding them.
abstactlemon
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by abstactlemon »

This is why I'm always perplexed when people get bent out of shape for others living their lives without hurting anybody else. There is no should in life and forcing your views on someone else is never going to go well.
abstactlemon
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by abstactlemon »

OTrain M wrote: February 21st, 2023, 6:30 pm They tend to confuse it with instructing/commanding them.
Yes! Say it louder. There is a difference between commanding and advising. It's a fine line and people almost never walk it right.
Chris Alex Powell
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Chris Alex Powell »

I think this is something I would agree with. It's similar to my belief that people should focus on making their own lives as they would imagine instead of trying to control other people's choices or behaviours especially with regard to beliefs held by people.
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Sheilaread
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Sheilaread »

I have read your comment over many times and I do agree with you for the most part.

I however tend to feel that we need to be able to advise and teach older children (more age appropriate that can reason and understand different ways to solve problems and/or be a bit creative) things by suggestions. Sometimes using; maybe you “should” think of a better way to do this or that…. To help them think of alternatives and different thought processes.

This is also a better method for children than always just punishing them or yelling at them.
Explaining what they “could have/should have” done to not have gotten in trouble. How to make better choices in the future, giving examples and let them help in the thought process of how to keep from getting in trouble next time.

Now, when it comes to adults and trying to instruct, share advice, help, or counsel others, I’m sure there are other, more gentler, kinder words to be used besides you “should have” done this or that.

Thank you for this post.
Hazel Mae Bagarinao
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Hazel Mae Bagarinao »

Scott wrote:We don't look at what other people or things are doing that we cannot control and resentfully think, "they should do this", or, "they should do that", whatever that means. Instead, we look in the mirror and ask ourselves, "what can I do?" And then from those many countless options of things we can do in our present, we choose what to do. How empowering! Self-responsibility, self-determination, and self-discipline (a.k.a. spiritual freedom) are so incredibly empowering!
I remember my serenity prayer. "Accept the things that I can't, the courage to do the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference".
Marie Chalupova
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Marie Chalupova »

If I like anything about my personality then it's that I never much resented things I had no control over. I always try to find positives in any situation. There is no point raging about it raining when we go for a trip (like my dad does). Just make fun of your bad luck and maybe that rain will make you go under a roof somewhere, like some museum or restaurant and you discover some cool place you would otherwise not have.
Marina Flisvou
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Marina Flisvou »

Choosing self-discipline over "shoulds" is freeing. Free spirits focus on what they can do, not on judging what they can't control. Complaining wastes energy. Instead, we take control and find peace in accepting the world as it is. This inner peace, or "true happiness," is yours to keep, and no one can take it away.
Veronicah Akinyi
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Veronicah Akinyi »

Encouraging self-reflection rather than projecting expectations onto others can foster healthier communication and relationships.
Devis Ombeto
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Devis Ombeto »

Shifting that perspective to personal agency, emphasizing what one can control and actively working towards personal goals, tends to result in a more fulfilling and purposeful life. It's about fostering a proactive mindset rather than being consumed by external expectations.
Dorine Ontomwa
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Re: Don't should on me. If you are going to should on anyone, go should on yourself.

Post by Dorine Ontomwa »

This shift in mindset opens the door to personal growth, resilience, and the development of coping mechanisms. Rather than harboring resentment over circumstances we cannot change, we embrace a proactive approach, fostering a sense of agency and a more positive perspective on life's challenges. Ultimately, by concentrating on the manageable aspects of our lives, we enhance our ability to navigate difficulties with grace and purpose.
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