There is a huge pandemic in the world right now. I am not talking about COVID 19 today although it is certainly a pandemic. I am talking about anger. Everywhere you look people are angry. Political rallies are filled with people shouting about how things are awful and will only be improved by either getting rid of certain governments or re-electing them. Facebook is filled with stories of people attempting to solve issues by pulling out guns and shooting people. People are upset over a number of police officers using undue force to arrest some people. People show that they are upset by protesting, most of the protests are peaceful, but a number have been destructive. People are upset by the destruction. Everywhere people seem to be angry.
I remember once talking to my son about rap music. He of course really liked it and I, as a child of the pop-disco age did not. He asked me why I didn't like it. I said that I always found the music to be so angry. There just aren't that many happy rap or hip hop songs. It is all about violence in the hood and stuff like that. Anthony reminded me that anger is an emotion and I said that yes it was but there are so many other emotions as well. What about joy, surprise, wonder, depression or all of those other feelings. Anger can't be the only one.
I know I am blessed. I have a wonderful partner, I enjoy my work, I have a place to live, and my bills are paid. I am also blessed with a fairly even temperament. As my mother said, when I was a baby, I woke up smiling and went to bed smiling. I just find it an easy to approach life like that and luckily nobody seems to mind that. Yes I get angry rarely, but Others though do have a reason for anger. They face oppression. They are worried about their jobs and economy. Their lives are tested by addictions, infidelity, extreme poverty. I am sure I would be angrier if I was to live in their shoes. Having been born to a white, middle class family in a country like Canada I know I am blessed. If I had been born in the slums of Detroit or working in a sweat shop in Vietnam, or starving in Eritrea, I might have a reason to be angry.
The problem seems to be though that some people are exploiting this anger for gain. At the Republican National Convention this week, some of the speakers invited are those who have gained notoriety for being angry-Nick Sandmann who with his high school class stood in defiance of a native american protester in Washington DC, and the McCloskey's who pointed guns at people in St.Louis are three people who have been invited to speak about their anger- legitimizing hate. Several viral videos have gone on Facebook recently of people all around the globe openly expressing hatred of others or people being abusive towards staff in stores who are merely trying to enforce difficult rules in these difficult COVID times. Being openly hostile, abusive, nasty, and vile seems to becoming a normal thing.
I believe with all of my being that this uncontrolled anger is wrong. I like to think we live in a civil society. The word civil means courteous and polite. This can't happen when one shouts, points guns, abuses others, belittles, or shouts. Anger might be a legitimate response for some people at some time, but it should never be a go to response. It can't be the only emotion we feel. Controlled anger is one thing, but we do not need to go ballistic all the time. It is time for some who are blessed to turn down the rhetoric. Blessings.