I recently published an article entitled Anger As An Ally wherein I spoke of anger as a “powerful natural resource that can not only be harnessed but directed to create lasting and powerful change in our own lives as well as the world as a whole”. While I still firmly stand behind that idea, I am compelled to write a follow-up part to this article after the horrific explosions of community anger which morphed into riots witnessed most recently in England.
While the theories behind why such riots occurred vary from economic disparity, political, lost family values through the disintegration of the traditional family structure, dramatic changes in educational responsibilities, moral guidance by churches disappearing, and self entitlement rife due to social mores minimizing accountability and responsibility norms of the past; the one thing that can’t be denied is that these people were ANGRY! I am not here to argue whether their anger is justified or what really is the cause. I am here to point out that it is simply human nature to respond with anger to circumstances that are perceived to be an infringement upon their rights.
Over thousands of years we can see countless examples of people revolting and rioting against a real or perceived threats against personal or communal rights. Is this a predisposition of humans? If so, we have a certain responsibility as individuals and communities to utilize the power of the emotions and harness them in positive and productive means. Whether this is seen through peaceful protests, writing the powers that be, using social media to promote change, or individually altering your behaviours through consumer spending – You do have the power to make change without burning your neighbours’ houses down.
For the angry rioters, it is sad that one loses what might have been an empathy towards their cause because of how grossly they misdirect the energy of anger. I have often said one loses the argument regardless of how right they are as soon as they lose their temper or swear. I am not saying it is an easy undertaking to remain calm when faced with injustice, inequality, or even horrific cruelty but this must be the goal of all people if they want change to work in their favour. Without public support of your cause, change will happen – only it will happen against you.
Instead of laws to bring about more social equality, the peoples in these communities will now be faced with an even greater infringement of their rights through a police state. One does oneself a disservice when over taken by the animalistic aspects of self driven by an uncontrolled anger. So, as we move forward into tumultuous times of economic uncertainly, fear mongering, political maneuvering, environmental and climatic devastation, social disparity, and absolute uncertainty, I ask you all to step into the driver’s seat of your self. There it is YOU that controls and directs your emotions towards positive and profound change.
Each of us is responsible and accountable for staying grounded, being guided by wisdom, and controlling our emotional impulses so that they may be directed outward in a beneficial way. No matter where you are in the world or what it is you face, move forward with grace and courage.