Irritations point to conflict, and most of us welcome drama only if it comes in forms of good stuff. The drama that reeks of perpetual upheavals mainly annoys or repulses us.
Yet I've been thinking in recent hours about people who, during their lives short or long, really annoyed others, sometimes in great numbers. Ironically, the irritating people in such cases were among the gentlest and humblest of people. Most were among the smartest and most compassionate.
Their dogged unwillingness to be demonized out of their basic beliefs made them into gross irritatants for others not able or willing to listen to arguments made to support a view, or to tolerate differences not to their liking or not popular in their select, ingrained groups.
Later, many of us who found some people to be irritants have given thanks for the influences of their irritations. Kept some off the streets when they wanted to be there at the wrong time or with the wrong crowd, i.e., out of danger. Kept others from making messes it might take a lifetime to clean up or clear up, if ever. Opened some eyes, helped soften some hearts and strengthen some minds at the same time. I thank God for these kinds of irritating people. Irritating people have led great changes for the better, scorned for a time and valued generations later.
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