“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying
to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
If you have followed these spitballs you will know of my healthy regard and defense of the dissenting opinion for its value in sorting out the truth and challenging conventional wisdom. Without Shaw’s unreasonable man we might never have advanced beyond hunting and gathering. Thankfully, those who wanted better questioned the status quo and pressed on. In the lexicon of the English language, Shit Disturber is a strictly Canadian phrase. The Urban Dictionary and Collins Dictionary list the term as a vulgar description of a person who purportedly causes needless difficulties or distress to others, or a troublemaker who causes controversy and upsets people. Although crude, the phrase is nonetheless in common use and generally not thought sufficiently offensive to be banned from customary speech.
The offbeat ideas and insights of the Shit Disturber make life interesting. They entertain us with their often absurd ideas and complaints, and despite their vexatious tendencies, there are times when they are quixotically accurate in their assessments and pontification. Shit Disturbers may be hard to cherish (which is the least of what they want in any event) but they make a useful contribution to our endless quest for improvement. A light-hearted tolerance and an occasional nudge of encouragement is the ticket for managing them in your community. Within your organization: How about an annual award for “Shit Disturber of the Year”?