Words I Would Like to See Go Away: Can’t vs Won’t

Words I Would Like to See Go Away: Can’t vs Won’t

Posted by: Anne Kennedy on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 2:30:00 pm

Someday I would like to expunge the word ‘can’t’ from the English language. Also “should”. These are words of abdicating responsibility for one’s self.


Ask yourself – or your friends, if you dare – to swap in the word ‘word’ for ‘can’t’ and see how that puts you in charge, rather than circumstance. Honestly, it seems many don’t want to be in charge of the bad stuff, the tough decisions, like walking away from a perceived responsibility that no longer serves. As long as we say ‘can’t’ we are not responsible, nor accountable, because it is clearly someone else’s fault, not ours. And that leaves us powerless.


Me? I’ll take the power.


“Should” similarly relieves us of personal action. As long as we say ‘should’ we are off the hook for actually doing whatever it is we ‘should’ be doing. What’s more, we can wallow in all that delicious guilt dripping over our spirits that we aren’t doing what we ‘should.’


Someone once said to me “Life is ‘should-y’ enough, don’t ‘should’ all over yourself.” But that’s not sufficient, really. Saying or thinking we should do something is nowhere near actually doing it, yet it let’s us think we are close to taking action because we have acknowledged the need to. So we let ourselves off the hook.


‘Will’ and ‘must’ are much better, much more powerful. Similarly, ‘won’t’ instead of ‘can’t’.


Let’s take charge, and become accountable to ourselves, and everyone else.





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