Poem: Should-ing by Mark Tulin


I beware the self-righteous,

those pedestal dwellers,

who should me to death.

As if they know

what I need to do

or how to run my life.


you should do this

you should do that

you should get married

you should buy a house

you should go to church

you should eat more vegetables


stop should-ing me,

should-ing others.



12 comments on “Poem: Should-ing by Mark Tulin

  1. hawkelsonrainier

    This really resonated with me. Those self-righteous pontificators seem to seek me out at parties. The next time someone wants to lead me to salvation, or add years to my life with some vile slurry of seaweed and kale, I’m gonna refer them to this poem.

  2. You said it😎

  3. The 11th commandment: “Thou shalt not should on thyself.”
    Rev. Jean — retired United Methodist pastor

  4. Theresa Ruiz

    Wow, it looks like you’ve received a number of comments on this one. Add mine to say, “yes, please stop with the should-ing.” That’s all I hear all day…especially at work. “You should take a deep breath!” “You should prioritize your work.” “You should get it to me NOW!”

    And you do need to take a deep breath and just realize that people reflect their “should” from themselves as to what they “should do” for themselves and take the responsibility. The world can’t be changed, but each one of us can follow our heart and listen to the Voice that surely knows us best. “You should know that you are loved by me!”

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