I have a deep and burning well of rage for a lot of things.  One of the biggest categories is the social manipulation inherent in words and phrases like “should,” “ought to,” and “obligated.”  It makes me angry every time I hear someone go through their day, their week, or their life making decisions and engaging based on the ideas of should, ought to, and obligated.  Those are concepts I could do with just never hearing again, and never hearing anyone whose sentience I respect adhering to ever again.

Every time you look at yourself and go “I ought to” or “I should” or “I am obligated” to do something, engage someone, or otherwise modify your behavior or yourself, question it.  Question the fuck out of it.  You know why?  Because should, ought to, and obligated are tools to make you behave better.  They inculcate shame of choice, fear of ramifications for misbehavior, and a desire to conform to a norm that may or may not be healthy or even possible.  It is that inculcation which inspires behavior change, and behavior modification makes you easy to control.

Question it.  Demand logic of it.  Demand rationality out of anything where you are obliged, told you should, or feel like you have to.  Words and phrases that make you behave are designed to make you easier to control, and sentient, sapient beings are inherently healthier when they are less under the manipulative control of an agenda-driven society.

Every time someone tells you that you should behave a certain way, or talk to a certain person, question it.  Ask yourself (or hell, ask them, because it’s a question they need to be prepared to answer) what they want out of you – what they are trying to make you do or be or feel by obliging you to engage in a behavior that would not naturally occur to you.  Socialization is all well and good, but the tools and tricks of obligation are effectively equivalent to emotional blackmail, and everyone should (hah) question anyone who tries to blackmail them into acceptable social behavior.

I don’t give a shit what relation the person obligating you has to you or with you – question their motives and their methods, and question your reasons for acquiescing, if you do.  Don’t do shit that doesn’t make you happy.

That’s what it comes down to, basically – don’t do things because you ought to, or because you should.  Do them because you can take joy in them, and do them in ways that make you happy and fulfill you on some level, be it emotional, mental, spiritual, or otherwise.  Every time you do something today, question it.  Ask yourself how it makes you happy – and if it doesn’t, don’t fucking do it.  Go do the things that make you happy today, and see where it gets you.  Happiness is worth more than any amount of social prowess or political gain, and it is worth dedicating the time to achieve.

You are a person worth making happy.  Remember that, and take it out into your day, and do things based on that premise.  You’ll be amazed what it changes.