As polite people who have learned the meaning of self-control, we do tend to choose our battles carefully. We try to control emotional outbursts of anger or any other negative feeling, but if we never become angry about anything, then we aren’t truly living. We’re just doormats for bullies and other scornful folks to wipe their feet on. You can’t always love people into doing what’s right.
As most adults and many youth have learned, there is a time and a place for everything. Anger is not always wrong. If we don’t become angry at injustice or any forms of abuse, at corporations that trash our environment, at companies that oppress the hireling in his wages, then what are we? We’re just pawns in Satan’s plan to destroy the human race, one vile act at a time. He will succeed if no one cares enough to oppose his henchmen and women.
Not only do we need to get angry at times, we need to do something responsible and constructive with the anger. The Pollyannas of the world may too easily fall into being push-overs for the Father of all Lies. Those of us who believe in the imminent return of Jesus Christ to rule among all nations know beyond a doubt that things will work out because God is in charge of His Own. But that doesn’t mean we sit back doing nothing and just watch evil take over the world.
As mentioned, we choose our battles carefully. We don’t need to indulge in road rage which will only get us beaten up or worse. We don’t need to write snarky emails to the department manager which will only get us fired. (I suppose we could write them out on paper and then tear them up.) We don’t need to lay traps for other people which we will only fall into ourselves. Instead we can latch on to that uncommon commodity – commonsense – before we do something stupid.
We especially don’t need to get angry and yell at the Subway® employee because they ran out of Italian Herbs and Cheese bread again! That’s my favorite, too, but at 6:30 in the evening, they’re highly likely to have run out of it. Not to mention a few other items, especially when they’re across the street from a busy hospital. Yelling at the workers and threatening to “call Corporate about this place” only makes you look and sound like the idiot you seem to be. And I’m sorry your wife is very sick in that hospital across the street.
Yes, the Subway incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back after a high-stress day. That doesn’t give anyone the right to dump on other people who might not be as discerning as I can be when I’m not sleep-deprived myself. I can’t speak for anyone else but when I’m sleep-deprived, I’m only safe staying indoors, preferably at home!
So what can we do with our anger?
We can get involved in the political process early on in any election year and especially at the local level in some fashion. These are the politicians who can make our daily lives better or far worse. Our health and personal responsibilities will shape what we can and can’t do but we sure as heck can do something besides bellyache after the fact that we were misled or that we weren’t really paying attention to what was going on (and probably still aren’t). And again, after the fact? We gear up for the next battles.
We can pay attention to the petitions we get in our Inbox since those are more succinct and generally contain more information than that provided by a stranger brought in from out-of-state who accosts us in front of the supermarket.
We can turn our anger into fighting:
- Poorly-thought-out oil pipelines
- Massive driftnets that catch innocent marine life by the thousands (and higher) every day
- Sonar testing that has caused untold suffering and death in the oceans
- Plastic bags and other debris that ruin oceans and land alike
- Farming horrors that will yet turn millions more people into vegetarians once they know. (At very least, we need to come up with humane animal farming practices. These are all sentient beings! All animal life feels pain and all have emotions, whether you want to believe it or not.)
We can find out which corporations are helping their communities financially, not just using their employees to paint a good corporate image while giving their surplus money only to the CEO and his/her direct reports. If they’re not putting their money where their mouth is, take your business elsewhere. Ditto for those near-monopolies that pay employees as little as possible, compared to similar jobs in other industries. Currently, the lower-paying jobs are likely to be found in the insurance, banking, and other service industries. Hopefully, these will see improvement soon.
We can donate a few dollars, even as few as our budget will tolerate, to causes that ring true for us. Worthy non-profits are literally praying and crying for our help as they struggle to rescue the abused of all stripes. The needs in this world are enormous! We can’t support every single one of them but each of us can decide on a few and research them online to see how much of the donated money goes to the recipients and how much to admin and marketing. Be very careful but please, give.
Sometimes we need to get angry, angry enough to do something about the injustices that are all around us.