Everyone Should...

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Photo Credit: http://amuletz.deviantart.com/art/the-birdkeeper-76903074
Everyone Should…
The trouble with stereotyping and ultimatums.

We’ve all heard it before.

Everyone should do this. Or everyone should do that. I’m guilty of using the phrase as well (by the way EVERYONE SHOULD download Taylor Swift’s new song Out of the Woods). We all have. And if we haven’t, we most definitely have heard it spoken to us.

But there are two major problems with this phrase:

First, it groups “everyone” into a single category. We’re not the same. We’re all human, yes, and I definitely believe we’re all connected, but we are still unique individuals with our own set of passions, beliefs, and opinions. We are not “everyone” nor are we supposed to be. We just are. And we don’t have to be anything else, certainly not everyone.

Which leads me to the second major problem: should.

Too often we forget that life is not made of should, or could, or would. Life is made of is, are, and doing. Life is not a wish, something to strive for, something to plan. Life is happening right now. The more time we spend worrying about what should, could, or would be is the less time we spend actually living.

And yet we fill our lives with shoulds. We’re told we should graduate high school. We’re told we should go to college. We’re told we should get married. We’re told we should have children. We’re told we should always think of others before ourselves. We’re told we should eat our vegetables, and drink eight glasses of water a day. We’re told we should workout more than we eat, and get at least eight hours of sleep a night.

Over and over and over again throughout our entire lives, we are told how we should behave, what we should do, who we should be.

And we forget that we already are. Right now. Everything is already exactly as it should be. If it needed to be any different, it would be. There’s no point dwelling on it. 

Which isn’t an excuse not to do anything. Excuses are only lies we tell ourselves (and others). Refusing to dwell on the should, would, and coulds of our lives does not mean we never make any changes. It means we instead choose to live through our hearts, and let our true selves lead our lives instead of the idea in our heads that begins with the phrase everyone should.

Challenge the belief that everyone should. 

There’s no such thing. 

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