A Word That Should Be Banned

Actually, there are two words I would like to see banned.

Hate and Should

There are plenty of things in this world to hate like evil.   While I don’t know anyone who doesn’t hate evil, hatred is a strong emotion.  Hate is a subjective word.  I hate lima beans, but my husband loves them.  I have taught my sons not to use the word hate when they are angry, or simply making an offhand remark.  The word hate or even the feeling of hatred, in my opinion, is not something to be taken lightly or verbalized without much thought.

fingerwagNo, the word I do want banned is the word ‘should.’

Should is the non-verbal equivalent of pointing a finger – “you should do this,” or, wagging a finger – “you shouldn’t do that.”   Yes, I hate the word should.  It’s too divisive.  I am immediately put on the defensive when I simply see or hear the word.

Why is this on my mind?

Last week I was reading my church’s newsletter.  After glancing at one of the articles, I immediately spotted the word “should” several times.  In my mind, I immediately dug in my heels and read the article with a closed mind.  Although the writer posed valid points from God’s Word for the premise of his article, the writer’s tone came across visually with a pointing finger. I wasn’t entirely persuaded in his call to action.  It felt more like a fire and brimstone sermon.  If I don’t do this I am damned to hell.  Okay, I overly exaggerate here to make my point.

To put it in business terms, sell, don’t tell.

The sell versus tell concept is helping the other person come to the same (your) conclusion on their own. Don’t tell me I should eat lima beans just because they are good for me, show me why they are good for me.  Chances are I may be persuaded with the right words and tone of voice.



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