The Parable of the Should Queen

The story of the Should Queen, the demise and redemption of the Kingdom of Should,
and how the land was reclaimed by love.

There once lived a beautiful and gifted queen. She had everything one could ever wantcompanionship, affection, beauty, leisure, comfort, and purpose. She was needed, desired, and cherished by all, but she was not happy. Our beautiful Queen was tortured night and day by the ‘Shoulds’ in her Kingdom.

‘But you should visit them….’
‘You should give your time to that….’
‘You should use your gifts here….’
‘You shouldn’t do that….’
‘Hurry! There won’t be enough time for everything you should do!”

All around her was dark. Day and night, the Shoulds bothered her and wore her down until her beautiful, gifted life looked grey, dingy, and dirty. Those Shoulds had polluted all of her lands, thoughts, time, and talents until they ultimately immobilized her. They held
her in ‘should bondage,’ and she and everyone in her Kingdom soon became heavy, grey, dirty, dingy, and hopeless.

The Queen’s subjects were filled with the fear of missing out and paralyzed with the power of the self-centered ‘Should.’ Those Shoulds wormed their way into every aspect of life in the Kingdom until no one could see past their immediate pain and suffering. Life continued for a long time in this bondage- simply getting by each day under grey, pressure-filled skies. The Kingdom was stuck in Should darkness.

Years passed, and the Kingdom became known (and avoided) as the Kingdom of Should. The people no longer prospered because everyone was either “too busy” worrying about what they ‘should’ be doing instead of what they were doing, or “too stressed” because of what they hadn’t done or had to do, or “too worn out” from the relentless onslaught of Shoulds. They were, as a nation, unable to see and care for their neighbors. Darkness prevailed as the Queen suffered, and her subjects followed suit. The Kingdom was busy, busy, busy…….. and failing. The people were exhausted by the weight of FOMO and should.

One day a young serf from a neighboring village wandered into the Kingdom. He wasn’t much to look at, not tall, handsome, or well dressed. He didn’t even have a horse, just an old broken-down mule, but he had an infectious smile, and love abounded in his heart.

The serf strode into town whistling a freedom tune, smiled, and felt the soft sand under sandal-clad feet. To him, it felt like walking on pillows. He looked up and saw the clear sky and bright sun. (Should’s cause drought) and felt inspired and happy clear to his core. His world held infinite possibilities, and he knew only good was coming to him. He could hear and feel his heart’s desire, and the serf instinctively knew how to act on it. His soul was clean, and his mind & spirit were as peaceful as the sunny sky. He loved the world!

Tousled hair, big blue eyes, and a delightful lilt in his step drew all to him, and soon he had cats, a few dogs, a stray chicken or two, and several children walking with him. They sang a happy tune as the menagerie made its way into the heart of the kingdom square.

Once in the square, the serf produced a long, soft cotton rope. “Jump with me,” he said to the children. He taught them to twirl the rope in unison and take turns jumping. When one tripped and skinned his knee, he taught them to clean and cover it and give some extra love to both the injured and themselves.

As they jumped, the serf and the children made a rhyme.

I love neighbors
I love me
I love others
As it should be

Should does not mean
I must push,
Should does not mean
I must go,

Should means I with my Creator flow.
Happy days come in the know
Of who I am
And where I go.

They jumped and jumped and giggled together until they were too tired to jump anymore. Sinking into the soft grass, the chickens found a roost, the animals settled down, and the children gathered around the young squire.

When all had settled, the blue-eyed master looked at his friends and inquired, “What do you think about that fun jump rope rhyme? What do you think it means?”

“It means love.” Said one.
“It means to listen with your heart.” Said another.
“It means slow down and focus on what is truly important,” said a voice from within the shadow of the town square tree.

It was the Should Queen. She had watched the children learn and jump with their teacher and learned a thing or two herself. Pondering on the words of the rhyme, the meaning of the poem had resounded deeply within her troubled heart.

Quietly approaching the resting group, she continued, “It means that as I am fully connected to my Creator and seek to serve Him and his children, His love will flow through me in a stream that lights the world. The word ‘should’ will no longer even be needed as we flow with him in the love He has for all of His creations.”

As her heart warmed with the confirmation and expansion that truth provides, the landscape blossomed, and the grey, dingy world around seemed to rejoice into brilliant
color. The Kingdom of Should was redeemed!

Far and wide, the message of the jump rope rhyme spread through the Kingdom. (And, of course, all the children learned to jump.) The busy, busy life settled into one of quiet purpose and kindness for self and others. Life was good again. In time the Kingdom even received a new name. It was known far and wide as Compassion.