Living a life pre-programmed by others doesn’t sound as good as living the life that you want, does it? Why then does almost everybody do it? I see there are two basic reasons for Shouldland’s existence: ignorance and fear.
Firstly, ignorance of any alternative. Some people know no different. They are basically ignorant of the fact that there are different ways of living other than the one that they were taught as a child.
Secondly, fear is probably the biggest motivating factor in people’s lives. They are scared of taking a risk, to understand their life’s path and to actually walk it. It is scary to say no to what you have been led to believe and to find another path.
There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path. There are a lot of people who understand that they don’t actually have to live the way they are, especially if it is making them unhappy. Even though these people can see a potential alternative life, they choose not to take it. They do not have the courage.
People have a need to have meaning in their life. Fair enough too, we need to feel there is a reason for our existence on this planet. Shouldland exists because people put their life’s meaning in to the unwritten rules of society, the things that we are taught we should do i.e. religion, marriage, family, and even our choice of employment. I will write more on how people are trapped in their Shouldland job in the future.
You meet these people all of the time. They regularly use the word ‘should’, although just as often use one of the many synonyms, such as ‘ought to’, ‘supposed to’, ‘that’s just how we do it’ etc.
Living your life in Shouldland insulates and protects you from challenge and risk. However, it also is a life of quiet desperation that leaves you with the nagging question in the back of your mind: “is this all there is?”
The more open minded a person is, the less likely they are to be in Shouldland. Despite this the majority of people continue live in Shouldland to some extent. Those who aren’t, are not totally out of Shouldland. There are varying degrees of living in Shouldland.
Most people accept the status quo without question, sleepwalking through life. When some of us manage to escape, the sleepwalkers find ways to criticise, pointing out ways that our escape plan is wrong. That will be the topic of the next post.