Making Trouble

Some people like to cause a stir. They exist to constantly get underneath other people’s skin. It makes them happy to make other people unhappy.

People like this do not do well in organized institutions where “collegial cooperation” is paramount. People who have a strong will and strong opinions are considered overbearing and irritating. People who are insistent and pushy are annoying. They don’t easily “go along” with whatever policy is in place if they think the policy is wrong. Mostly, they end up outside the loop.
People like this are necessary, however, in every field. Without them to push the envelope things would stagnate and get rigid. The pains-in-the-neck people who don’t want to “cow-tow to the party line”, who don’t want to “go along to keep the peace” and who don’t care how other people view them or their work, are the ones that uproot the moldering detritus and allow the stench to float up towards those who look no further than the end of their up-tilted noses.
The rub is this, if you are so far outside the loop that no one knows you exist, no matter how startling and earth-shaking you may be, no one will hear your ideas and they will die with you, doing no good to anyone or anything.
The successful annoyers figure out soon enough that the trick is to be just enough “inside” the organization or group to be tolerated and stay there long enough to gain some credibility thereby finding a way to make those “annoying” and “irritating” ideas just palatable enough to get some airtime. Not at all an easy task. Nevertheless, if you persevere, you might succeed. Then, you might still be avoided and ostracized, but at least you will know in advance that the reason you are treated with disdain is because what you are saying resonates, even if it is subterranean vibration. To some the message might be abhorrent, but if it’s truthful, it cannot be denied forever. The more substance the message has, the more it rankles and the more it disturbs, and the harder it is to ignore. Sooner or later, someone else will take up the cause, and then, the tide truly does begin to turn.
We live in a peculiar time when no one really knows what the “truth” is. There are so many versions of it and so many places to get it and so many people peddling it, it is impossible to know what is or is not really truthful. I do believe that even the people who think they know the “truth” don’t know if what they are saying is true or not, but they have convinced themselves that it is. In the case of intellectual information, like with finance or government, it’s anybody’s guess as to who to believe about what topic. In the case of a skill, however, we don’t have to rely on the brain alone. The body, which has no stake in what the egoistic mind has to say, will always let you know what it likes and what it doesn’t like if you allow it to communicate to you. The body will always tell you, “Yes. This works,” when it does. If you need to know, “Should I listen to this message even though I can’t stand the person delivering it?”, ask your body. Listen to your gut, to your heart. There are no lies in your body.
Therefore, if someone disturbs your peace of mind or your sense of self, and rattles you to your core, but in so doing imparts to you something you badly needed to encounter, be grateful rather than angry. If the price you have to pay is to be aggravated but in return you have been stirred out of your stupor and can again fly free, pay the fee willingly.
Do not look to always have everything be “nice”. Nice can be deadly. Knowledge is sometimes a bitter herb that you need to taste in order to appreciate something sweet. Let the irksome trouble making irritators guide you once in a while. You never know what you might find when you aren’t looking.
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