Hmmm. I see Frank’s stuff on line and I know he’s a caring person with high character. But with no disrespect intended, I’ve gotta disagree on this one. Because what does ‘should’ mean? I mean in practice?
The word ‘should’ is kind of like a wish. It’s us deciding to live with an expectation that another person will do exactly what we think they should do.
We’re willing to do this because historically we are right far more often than we are wrong. This is the case for the vast majority of people and this is for two reasons:
One; our friends are just the people who agree with how we see the world, so they’ll also usually do what we would do.
Two; to live in a society is to live within a framework of agreed-upon boundaries for behaviour, be those laws, rules, customs or even etiquette. However it’s important to remember that in reality people routinely break laws, disobey rules, ignore customs and defy etiquette. So ‘should’ is just a wish.
Hoping someone keeps a promise is a wish. If we’re going to get mad every time one of our wishes doesn’t come true then we are in for one painful life. Because we will all, without trying to, break lots of promises in our life simply because life is complex and it was never designed to be perfected.
Sometimes life’s complications can lead good people to take uncharacteristic action (or inaction) and that can be a very painful experience. And we can end our relationships with anyone who lets us down. But that is likely to lead us to be alone.
Far better than being absolute is to be forgiving and flexible. After all, there is a 100% chance that we’ll need that wiggle room too.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.