Sunday, July 7, 2013

bothering people

Say exactly what you believe & accept that you may offend on occasion over trying not to offend & risk no one knowing what you believe

‒ Simon Sinek

One early Sunday afternoon in late May, I was leaving my place to join my friends Aziz and Mélodie at the food market at Montreuil, a suburb of Paris.  I was taking the long route to the nearest metro station, and along the way I spotted a queue of about 12 people standing outside a boulangerie (bakery).  In the middle of this queue, I found an opening and instead of passing through, I occupied it.  Now I was queuing for some Sunday bread too.

At that very instant, the most daring run of Operation Original yet had been accomplished.  It had taken me months, not to mention several disappointments, before I pulled it off.

In all honesty, the run was not the success that I had imagined, since the guy in line behind me did nothing to let me know that I had taken his spot.  Actually, he did not react at all.  And since I was not there to buy bread, I ended up leaving the queue within a minute of waiting.

Later that day, I told my friend Christelle about my accomplishment at the boulangerie.  I found the whole thing amusing, but Christelle thought otherwise.  She felt that I was seeking to cause a confrontation with random people.

I could not deny her point of view since it was exactly the same point of view that had prevented me on different occasions from pulling off the feat in the past.  So after what Christelle said, I let my reflective self take over the matter.

I prefer to not bother people, not even for the slightest thing.  However, when traveling on a personal path of liberation, I think that the question of potentially bothering people or not ends up becoming secondary.  Important probably, nonetheless still secondary.

In this world that we live in, some people are often bored, depressed, or jaded.  They have beautiful ideas but lack the will to pursue them.  At the end of the day, they are stuck in a routine that does not help them.  So they search, consciously or not, for something new, something fresh.

Elsewhere in the same world are some other people.  They are more frequently energetic, excited, and enterprising.  They have beautiful ideas too, which they seek to realize at all costs.  To them, it is a matter of life and death.  Moreover, they think their ideas are beautiful because at the core of these ideas are people, as well as the opportunity to enrich the lives of people by giving them something new, something fresh.

Sounds like a match made in heaven, doesn’t it?

The consensus, it seems, is that people don’t like to be bothered.  That said, I think that there are some people that actually want to be bothered, albeit to an extent that varies depending on the person.  Some others do not mind being bothered a little.  Among these people are individuals that want to be seen, heard, or simply made to feel like they exist.  The more original the bother comes, the more likely some people will appreciate it.  And even if it is not pleasant, the bother will at least serve as a distraction from routine life.

Besides, what is bothering to some may be welcoming and even amusing to others.  There is no way to possibly know which the case is until the deed has been done.  Would it be worthwhile if we never took the risk?

On a more individual level, I actually think that it is primarily by taking the risk of bothering people ‒ as opposed to trying to hide from them ‒ that one can ultimately become free from the “Oh but what will they think of me?” questions that one often asks oneself.  I know that I don’t want to be dealing with these questions for much longer.

So bother people we will risk, when it is necessary, in order to become the free spirits we long to be.  We will do so with meaning, with style, with conscience, and with respect for others as well as for ourselves, to the best of our ability.

But bother people we will risk.

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