16 April 2007

Bothered?

We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?

-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, 1953

It’s easy for me to think about times I’ve been bothered, but usually it’s about trivial things—things I need to get over. But I find myself thinking about the times I’ve been bothered by something important. And I guess as I think about it more, being bothered really isn’t enough. I can easily be bothered by injustice, racism, the failing role of the Church in society, environmental indifference, etc., but it seems to me that what really counts is what we do with our bothered selves. I think I’m pretty quick to make a critical remark, but very slow to act. Admittedly, it’s hard to get to that next stage of action; there are so many distractions, hesitations, fears. How do we strike that balance between becoming an effective, constructive critic of society versus becoming a bitter, career complainer? I think it has to do with recognizing that we can (and should) take some responsibility. But I agree that becoming bothered is the first step. After all, it's hard to know what action to take if we cannot perceive that which is bothersome. But no worries, there should be no shortage of bothersome things anytime soon. I still have some time...

3 comments:

Jed and Anne said...

I liked your post and what you had to say about the whole concept of how hard it is to take in to action what it is that you are 'bothered' about. I definitely have moments with my job and with night class that I am so bothered I almost don't think that I can get through it. But I do, and then I slowly get over being bothered...Anyway, I liked your post. I thought it was very insightful. Thanks!

Sarah said...

Amen, girl! There are so many people (myself included) who get bothered by important things and don't DO anything about it except complain. Thanks for your insights, as always.

karen said...

I think if we are bothered enough, or feel as though we NEED to make a difference, then we pick ourselves up and try to make that difference. Being bothered is normal, feeling as though we can DO something about it is empowering!