Why Bother?

Given how wonderful life can be, it’s amazing how easy it is for things to bother us. The most bothersome things are often associated with the people we love the most. The people that are around us every day are always doing things that we think should not be done. Just as bad, they also don’t do lots of things that we think should be done.

Parents constantly run into this problem with their children. It is the parents’ job to teach children what should and shouldn’t be done. When children do what they do and don’t do, parents get annoyed in doing their duty.

Children constantly run into this problem with their parents, who take their jobs seriously about letting everybody know what should and shouldn’t be done. Even while parents share their wisdom about what is to be done, they themselves do or don’t do things that can cause unbearable embarrassment.

While kids are busy bothering their parents, and parents are bothering their kids, kids are also bothering kids and parents are bothering parents. Sometimes this bothering is on purpose, sometimes it is by accident. Almost anything can become a bother. It could be a noise, gesture, word, facial expression, or smell. It could be somebody’s absence or it could be their presence. It could even be the timing between their presence and absence. Trying to coordinate appearances and disappearances in time and space can be quite a bother.

If we decide we need to get a break from everybody around us, we may go for a walk. There, we may be bothered by the heat or cold, our path, our fellow walkers, their dogs, our dogs, the wind, the rain, or traffic. The world has an endless assortment of things that could bother us, if we are predisposed to being bothered, which we are. Annoyance is certainly within our emotional range.

So why all the bother? Every little bother is life rubbing against us, like a purring kitten. The kitten is fully content, how we react is what concerns us. If we consistently recognize each event that bothers us, then make an effort to see the love and life beyond the bother, we can use each pet peeve as an opportunity to transform ourselves. We can never learn to enjoy bothering, even though we know it is ultimately urging us along on our path, because if we enjoyed it, it would not be bothering. Also, we can never eliminate bothering. As long as we are there to be bothered, something will find us. We are left to embrace all the bother, to accept it as the friction of existence. Given how wonderful life can be, with parents, children, sun, wind, walks, dogs, kittens, transformation, and love, we can be bothered and bother to be mindful of our experience, live peacefully with each other, and bring harmony to the world.


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