I can’t help but marvel at the wonder of cantankerousity. I may have addressed this topic before but if I did, it doesn’t matter because this is a topic that needs all the attention it can get. The majority discounts and disparages cantankerousity. This in itself should be a ringing endorsement. Wherever you turn it seems that the focus is on amiability, getting along going along and the like. Nobody wants controversy, disagreement or antagonism and so we see the glorification of the gutless, agreeable nonentities that make up the bland majority of the humanity surrounding us. The world is awash in conformity, monotony and boredom. Someone needs to shake things up before we sink into a coma and so I say up with cantankerousity.
I don’t advocate mayhem, violence or disaster although they too shake things up. Those activities create more problems than solutions but sometimes the go along trance gets so thick that only mayhem can wake you up. That is the beauty of cantankerousity. It is the incongruity in the ordered state of the world that lets you appreciate how good you have it without losing it all.
What society conspires to teach is that we all need to suck up small inconveniences and abandon what we want in order to have a world where we all are happy all the time. Since this is impossible, the work around is to brainwash everyone into thinking that they are happy even when the glass is only half-full. Once you are persuaded that half-full is all anyone should want, you stop wanting more. If everyone else is happy with half-full glasses, they don’t push for what they want either. The result is a unsatisfying world where you don’t push to get what you really want and others don’t push for what they really want and everybody pretends that everything is great. It’s a dumbed-down world where people exchange some turmoil and ranker for the bliss of mindless conformity until mayhem happens and we all scramble until a new state of conformity emerges.
This is why cantankerousity is so necessary. The urge for conformity is so great that you may not realize that you have settled for a glass that is only half full. You may be perfectly happy with a settle-for life, an itch that is never scratched and a need that is never satisfied because all around you there are unfulfilled people making do just like you. You may never realize that you are living a half-life. Until, that is, you encounter someone who wants a full glass, an unreasonable person that is fully aware that the half full glass that life has given him just isn’t good enough and demands the rest. Those people annoy us. We question what makes them think that they can ask for more than we are willing to accept and sometimes we demand that somebody make them shut up and settle for a half glass like the rest of us. But they also stir something up deep in our being that asks what I should want.
Cantankerousity is not about annoying people- although that may be one of the results. Cantankerousity is about not accepting that half-full glass. Nobody gets it all but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go for more than you have right now. Be the guy who knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to insist on it. Don’t accept poor service, shoddy goods, insincere friends, unloving and unlovable family members. Why should you allow your life to me miserable just to make some lazy slob more comfortable. Take command of the situation and play to win. You will still lose a lot of the time but at least you won’t feel like a sap doing it.