Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

by | Sep 8, 2022

Well, we finally heard from our new would-be-landlord how much he’s going to charge for our place. Put it this way: the 😂emoji is my favorite. It has been used at least one million times since we heard the number. 


The number: between a $900-$1200 increase–on top of what we’re already paying, which is 60% more than the person who lived here 2 years before us. 


As he (man)splained, “It’s in line with the current market rate.” 


It’s the market rate. 
It’s what others are doing. 
It’s how we’ve always done it.
It’s just what we gotta do. 


How often do we rationalize our decisions, our actions, and our thoughts on circumstances and situations? 


One could argue it’s all we do. However…this rent situation has me thinking:


When do we check and see if it’s the right thing to do?


Just because we CAN do it, doesn’t mean we should.


Now, I can laugh at those rent rates because we have the security of having a, dare I say, better place for less money 4 blocks away. (Market shmarket.) We have another place because we had a feeling that he’d jack up the rent and it would be a double punch in the gut if we didn’t have another option and were stuck paying astronomical rent. However…


I still have an icky feeling in my gut. 
I’m disgusted by the greed of it all. 
I’m outraged by the injustice when I think some sucker is going to have to pay 3X what someone paid for the same exact walls/floors/windows 2 years ago. 


The market numbers might be a “rational” way to think about things: he spent X dollars on the house. He needs to charge X dollars to cover his mortgage. “It’s the current market rate.” Logic. 


Markets, circumstances, situations, of course, will sway our decisions. 


What I’m proposing is perhaps the benchmark we should consult first is our moral compass, our values, and the straightforward, if perhaps naive, concept of doing the right thing. 


Are there tasks, habits, conversations, or actions you are taking in your life just because you can?


Are there relationships you’re holding on to, conflicts you’re avoiding, shoes on the internet you’re buying…just because you can? 


I’m wondering what the collective difference we could make in our relationships, in our happiness, in our contentment, in our society if we checked in with our guts and asked, “Is this something I should do? Or is this something I’m doing just because I can?”

PS. I bought the shoes. My gut confirmed it was the right thing to do. 👢


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