Today’s Blogger, May I prompt is this time last year. Perfect timing to bring up about a year ago when I went to TEDxGrandviewAve (now TEDxPittsburgh!) and heard Britt Reints talk about “shoulding on yourself” and wrote a long, gushing post about how awesome she is and how right she is about that. If you remember, that’s awesome and I love you and you’re my people. If you don’t, catch up here.
Okay, back with me?
I’m getting very tired of people telling me what I should do. I want to yell at them and say, “You don’t get to tell me what I ‘should’ do because you don’t know my situation.”
By telling someone, “You should totally [fill in the blank],” you’re imposing your goals and values on someone else. You have no idea what you’re talking about.
You know that quote, “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” or some variation thereof? Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m referencing here.
I was thinking the other day that I will fundamentally not understand so many things. I will never know what it’s like to be someone’s sister, to grow up in Texas, to be out on the street, to grow up without a dad.
So I have no right telling someone, “This is what you should do.” I can offer advice, encouragement, and support, but not impose my beliefs on them. Because my life that I bring to the table doesn’t at all reflect your life. Sure, it can be similar, but we all have great experiences that are unique to us.
As such, I’ve been watching what I’m saying lately and trying to replace “should” with other words. I was talking to Jonathan about work woes and I expressly said, “I’m not saying this is what you ‘should’ do, this is just what I’m thinking is a possible option.”
I love helping people and hearing them out, but I can’t tell them what to do anymore than they can tell me what I should do.
So what do you think?