09 October 2006

on anger

just a bit ago, deb sent me a link to a blog she thought i might dig. (thanks deb!) the latest entry struck a chord, so i'm going with it. the piece is entitled anger and educating the priviledged. if you're so inclined, you might wanna hop on over yonder and have a peep at it before continuing here. i'll wait. i'm patient.

but back to anger. i've often wondered what this culture's anger stems from. we are "the wealthiest nation in the world" after all. money can't buy me... my sense is that it somehow goes back to the inception of this great land and its history. the quakers have an interesting theory that i'm certain to butcher in the telling, but it goes a little something like this: if a society changes (or in this case, is born though) bloody, hateful, evil tactics (HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY?!?!) - it is most certainly bound to continue on in the same direction. new leaders or no, it makes no difference. hence my striving for peaceful revolution. hence my stance on pacifism.

beyond that, for me, i was angry before my political worldy awakening, back in my early 20's. after reading zinn's book, i gained a new understanding (or as the rastas might say, overstanding) of why everything just always felt not quite right. i could lay it on a lot of reasons. issues from my childhood, a society and culture that has always thrived on inequality (whether it be gender, race, you name it), lies, and what not. the anger was there. i also sense that it is an intrical part of human existance. a lot of is certainly learned and never questioned - i.e. i was able to stop road raging once i realized that i've often changed lanes without fully looking. i wasn't intending on ruining someone's life - it was simply an accident. dropping assumtions about another's inter-personal motivations has helped immensely as well. i've always felt things deeply - seemingly more so than most. i've always felt emotions deeply - seemingly more so than most.

but am i an angry person? nope. for as much as i see in the world that grabs the attention of my anger, i also have hope. and love. and laughter. and happiness. and sadness. i'am human, with all of the emotions that go along with the human experience. not one of them has any more power over me than the other. balance. don't get me wrong, sometimes i find myself striving for this balance, but i manage quite well.

as the author of the post that served as a catalyst for this opined, anger can lead to a myriad of psychological and health problems if left unchecked. if i've learned one thing over the years, it is that harboring any emotion to the extreme can cause severe damage, unbalance. it is best, for me, to recognize that emotion (whatever it may be), validate it, and move on. so i have a million of these instances in a day - and so it goes.

i can't say that i'm an angry person. that would give the powers that be way too much control over me. i'm a happy person, for the most part, in my own little way. i laugh a lot and loudly. i cry a lot, too. i love deeply. i get mad, then try and figure out a way to harness that into something more productive, less negative, as to not dwell on it. there's a lot to be angry about in the world. in the same breath, there's also a lot to smile about and celebrate. it is all so subjective!

i'am but a work in progress. there is no such thing as perfection. as my dear friend robin would say, i'm a little bit amish.

and as for educating the priviledged - i don't know that this is a possibility. well, i guess anything is possible, but people must want to be educated in order for that to happen. it isn't my job. i'm horrified at the thought of turning into what i abhor - telling others how to live their lives, and what to believe. of course i think about priviledge - and can't help but know that i'am even more priviledged than a good many who don't have computers or internet access. priviledge itself is so subjective as well. not to mention, i don't know that i know any better than anyone else. all i know is me, and what my experiences have shown me and led me to.

what i do believe in is having all of the information and being able to have the freedom of speech to discuss differing opinions. i believe in one making up his or her own mind. and i believe in a world that is fair and just for every citizen. at the risk of sounding cliche - we're all in this together. and we need each other - now - more than ever.

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