“All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.” Thomas Jefferson
Background- Tonight as I read the local newspaper, I was taken back by the anger expressed by one of the candidates for our city council. He was let go 2 years ago as the administrator of our area ambulance amidst accusations of stealing. When you start hearing his side of the story, suddenly it’s not quite as cut and dried as it first seemed….(hold that thought)….
My first reaction to his anger was to be turned off- . As he expressed his anger, he was sarcastic, there was name calling- It left me feeling like I had licked an ashtray… to be honest, there’s a part of me that thinks he really never had a chance to clear his name and tell his side of the story- but because there is so much anger now- even if he’s right, I don’t think he will persuade the people who are undecided. His anger is such a turn off
Now bring that over to current events-
Pick any issue: The recent stimulus bill, the war in Afghanistan, gay rights and the definition of marriage, health care, Monsanto tampering with our seed supply, abortion, the national debt, 2nd Amendment rights, Women’s rights, Social Security, immigration, education- charter/private schools/ Our nations response to terrorism, creationism vs. evolution..pick one- This is not an exhaustive list
Here’s my question- Is it possible to feel strongly (angry) about any of these things and at the end of the day, not have it consume you?
(all anger is not wrong by the way- it’s what you do with it- IMHO)
I can just hear somebody say, “Let your anger motive you to do something positive.” Now that sounds great on paper, but when people who don’t agree with you start calling you names, spreading lies, doing character assassinations, twisting information, etc. How do you remain calm and respectful and not respond in kind???
I know 3 people who have intentionally stopped trying to stay abreast of current events because:
#1-they end up getting angry
#2 They feel powerless to do anything constructive anyway.
Is there a middle road? What does it look like? Is it possible to be a positive, effective agent of change w/o being angry? Are you able to pull this off? What’s your secret?