“Anger exceeding limits causes fear and excessive kindness eliminates respect.” – Euripides
You huff and you puff. Throw your toys to the ground. Spew up and out your rage.
What pisses you off? And why? And is it “bad” to get angry? Uh, no. Not always.
Despite our best intentions to control it, anger is a fundamental part of being human. It means we’re alive, feeling, and caring. That’s why you’ve got to get in touch with your anger. But here’s the trick: you’ve got to go way down deep, baby. Get inside that scorching flame and figure out what’s fueling it.
As a child beaten often, I grew up mad as hell at the world. Everywhere I looked, I saw so many wrongs to be righted. Eventually, I learned to pick my battles. Pick them wisely. Honestly, I’m still learning that.
But sometimes, I feel like we don’t get mad enough about the ugliest, soul-searing sores – like racism, terrorism, or any dark-ism. Economic and social injustice is another red-hot one for me.
I think about Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old environmental activist who passionately chewed out a roomful of world leaders at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York. She was visibly pissed off at their apathy and denial – and I don’t blame her.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” she railed furious. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth – how dare you?! For more than 30 years, the science has been crystal clear,” she raged in tears. “How dare you pretend that this can be solved with business as usual?”
Sure, getting angry temporarily zaps your energy. But there’s also a reason that anger turned inward eventually morphs into depression. So, sweet one, express it when you must.
Then do something about it – like Greta Thunberg. Speak up. Be heard. Rattle the whole damn room, if you have to. Be compassionate, kind, and loving – but don’t be a freakin’ doormat – and never stay silent when we need to hear you the most.