CHANGE: Make It So...

The Deep Roots of Anger
by Yours Truly
Published 09.13.20
LinkedIn Platform

This article was a calculated response to the endless stream of fake and pretentious positivity memes routinely posted on the LinkedIn platform. I wanted to purposely undermine all of the self-help impostors whose lives appeared in perfect harmony with nature and society. The platform was saturated with faux life coaches and positivity tyrants, none of whom really had a credible solution for people living with anger. They conveniently judge those whose lives are not as fulfilled or as perfect as their own. I myself am not a psychologist or behavioral health expert, but I do have common sense. It was necessary to remind these self-help gurus that there are negative traits in our humanity for a reason. Such tendencies cannot be ignored. Human beings get pissed from time to time. It's a perfectly natural and healthy emotion…

Anger. What is anger? Is it an emotion that fills us with hatred? With a blind sense of rage? Possibly, but not necessarily. There are countless articles, memes and posts on social media pushing the narrative that anger is an unhealthy emotion, that it only leads to violence and a pessimistic world view. Surprisingly, I'm not here to refute or debate any of these notions, because ultimately, they are all true statements in some capacity.

However, the knee-jerk assumption is that anger is always bad – that angry people are simply negative beings and therefore no good for society. Angry people contribute nothing. They are toxic and poisonous – avoid them at all cost. I take exception to this surface evaluation. What's lost in the narrative is the difference between perpetual anger and fleeting negative response.

I must confess. I myself can be angry from time to time – perhaps even childish or petulant, prone to throwing adult tantrums. I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I have no problem admitting my stubborn faults. There are countless things that piss me off, but that doesn't mean I deserve to be locked in a cage like some rabid animal. The difference is that my rage is temporary. It is driven from some external source or stimuli. Eventually the feelings dissipate. Like anyone else, I have moments of frustration, disappointment, or anxiety. If I should lash out and kick a fire hydrant, then it's my own bloody fault if my toe gets broken. Shame on me!

And that's just it... What do we do with our wrath? I've always tried to channel these passing moments into something more productive, such as exercise or art – a timely article that points out injustice or some other social nonsense. None of us are cut from the same cloth. We all have differing viewpoints and chemistry. Most of us are quite humble in our moments of rage. We have productive ways in which to diffuse the bomb... something that restores our sense of balance with the universe. I'm quite happy for those who have mastered the art of Zen. Perhaps they should bottle it and sell it to the mob. I know a few angry simpletons who could really benefit.

Honestly folks. What would you rather have – someone who paces their temper productively, or someone who throws bricks, smashes private property, or burns down their local CVS Pharmacy? It's a pretty simple measuring stick to compare basic anger with genuine, full-throttle violence. If we all acted on our impulses to destroy, then we may as well have no society to live in at all. That's what wars are for, and that's a completely different article for a different rainy day.

Yes, anger is a turnoff. It is a negative byproduct of the human condition, and most of us wish we could avoid those sour moments. However, it does not mean the person who is experiencing anger deserves counseling or therapy – some do, some don't. In fact, I'd even suggest that a certain level of anger is probably quite healthy. It flushes problems out into the forefront, demands attention and resolution, proves you have a pulse and that you care deeply about some particular issue. In many instances, the consequences of anger may even lead to a much better situation. If only someone would take the time to ask, What's wrong?

Isn't this where compassion begins – by eliminating the source of someone else's misery? By helping them climb in from that dangerous ledge? There are always reasons for anger. Every single person must learn to cope with the very nature of its existence. Nobody escapes life without tasting fury. It is a vital part of our humanity, a tool that helps us grow and understand the boundaries of our passion. It enables us to govern friendships, relationships, our way of transcending and navigating through society. How we reconcile our anger is the variable. How we react and how we treat others in our rampage will likely determine how willing others are to help us when that desperate hour of need arrives.

It's a tough nut to crack, but I'd much rather pick someone's brain who is angry, to help them find a solution and get to the roots of their dilemma – not just ignore them and disregard their nuclear state. It's a far more interesting concept to help rather than lock someone up for having a bad moment, yet that seems to be the surface remedy so frequently offered on social media... especially from compassionate experts. Just get rid of the angry person because it's too much work to understand their pain. That's pretty awful.

What scares me worse than someone who is angry, is someone who lives in a perpetual state of bliss. They wave their hands at reality and fail to acknowledge the rust growing on their magical wings. Yup. Cloud Nine is just as frightening, if not more so than a person who has a nail in their foot. Instead of throwing anger into a deep dark hole, let's try to remember our own moments of discord and recognize where their misery is coming from. You never know if your open ear might lead to a positive ray of light in that person's bleak and cloudy outlook.

In conclusion, it's easy to give in to that simmering moment, that impulse to curse the heavens or kick a trashcan in frustration. For a few moments, it may even feel good to blow off that steam. This is normal. There is nothing wrong with this behavior. It's only when anger becomes a repetitive urge to lash out, blame others or destroy material objects – that's when it truly becomes dangerous. Once you've been consumed by this elevated state, when it persistently interferes with your day-to-day activities, perhaps then you should seek immediate professional help.

Beyond that, only you are capable of recognizing difference. Only you can diffuse that heated moment and rationalize the circumstances into a balanced state of control. It's okay to feel angry sometimes, but slow those horses down, breathe, and get to the bottom of why you are struggling. Walk away from that urge to destroy. That alone will give you the clear mind and sense to reconcile any challenging issue. With that I wish you great peace and Zen on your humble journey forward...