Friday, February 24, 2012

What to Do with Anger

I don't know what to do with anger, sometimes.

I'm not talking about temporal anger:  my daughter forgot her shoes, I can't find my keys, I'm exhausted and don't feel like cooking.  I'm talking about deep-seeded worrysome anger - the kind of anger that wells up when I bear witness to someone doing great and complex harm.

I listened today to Christian radio, which I often do.  Today, however, the message I happened to hear was contorting the Christian faith to fit a very narrow interpretation, which of course resulted in a lifestyle of isolation, fear and self-loathing.  I listened to opinion-radio and heard people misleading others, using rhetorical tricks laced with anger and bitterness to persuade listeners.  I witnessed people who, even though they have no basis for their authority, assume it and dictate to others who are unsure about their power to object.  I engaged in conversation with people who were convinced of certain truths - without much in the way of actual evidence or consideration of alternatives -  were acting in a manner contrary to their own best interest.

And I got angry.  I was not embarrassed by this anger.  I didn't (at least explicitly) demonstrate it.  It is an anger rooted in sadness, and unlike the anger about the keys and the dinner, I think its an anger that maybe, just maybe, I shouldn't want to let go of.  Letting go of the temporal anger is probably a good thing for me and for my community.  I think letting go of this other anger is really only good for me, and that's never good for anyone.

No comments: