As Ray Bradbury so eloquently wrote in his 1953 masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451, “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?”
The way I see it, being bothered by the world and/or one of its particular components is a necessary precursor to living. How can we live and not contemplate our lives? How can we contemplate our lives and not recognize the seemingly infinite number of conflicts, inconsistencies, and hypocrisies? It is our nature. To deny our nature – to live with eyes closed – is to turn our backs on what defines us as a species. Do we each have a predefined purpose? I’m not so sure. But each of us has a gift, and that gift (the only one that truly sets us apart from other species) can become our purpose if we allow it. In doing so, change becomes possible, and that which is the source of our discontent weakens or dissipates completely. This is our collective purpose – to be bothered; to be bothered and to question that which bothers us and to change it, or at least try our damnedest.
I have been bothered for a long time now, since I was an adolescent. This is a poem I wrote at the age of 13, but it seems relevant today:
A Time for Dreamers, by David King (1994)
Today is a day for dreamers.
A day for believers, and thinkers and wanderers.
And yet today these dreamers are faced with the problem of disbelief, and unthinkable thoughts. We are faced with an ordered world that harbours more chaos than order. We live in a controlled society that is soaked in paranoia and fear.
We even act a certain way to please those around us.
Yet we mustn’t, we cannot.
If we continue living in this cage of humanity, we will die here,
locked away from all our hopes and dreams.
And so we must escape.
We must reach down into the deepest bowels of humanity,
into the love, the hate, and even the fear, and we must grasp ourselves.
We must live our lives.
And whether it exists in our heart, our soul, our mind, or even the fear that brought us here, we must forever dream.
For only dreamers truly ever know.
I hope you enjoy this blog. More importantly, I hope that something on this blog gets you bothered too…