Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Angry People

I have always admired American optimism - it is not simple minded as cynics would like to say - I actually think it is a powerful force that drives toward greatness.

Europeans that I know have always been more cynical - compliments are often veiled with notes of how they hope you do not lose/crash/ destroy/get stolen whatever it is that you have.  It is a protective way of looking at the world - a world where there were powers that suddenly weren't, where identity is closely tied to your place of birth and where wars have ravaged the land.

Yet the States  - land of a new beginning, where you could be whatever you wanted the place to know you as - that came with optimism.  I see it in historical writings even up to the turbulent 60's - JFK with his message of "ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country", Dr. King with " I have a dream...".  These are the things that made us bounce back - these are not rose colored glasses but based on a common line of sight to be better, to do better for our children.  The 60s were turbulent but they used their anger to build, the Nazis were angry they used their anger to justify their anger through killing.

It was mocked by others but I see it in other places, Australia comes to mind.  It was in a way what drove others to want to change if for no other reason to just challenge that "we can do this" US attitude. It was cocky and confident.  It was patriotic and not negatively nationalistic.

It seems to be gone or be going quickly.  I see angry people - lots and lots of angry people.  In our quest to make things right with political correctness we have done more to divide than to learn through that process.  There are angry people - and angry people are good mostly at being angry. Angry people tend to be good at toppling things but rarely good at building.  Try it on your own if you are pissed off and try to build say a lego set - you push and you shove, you don't take the focus to read the directions, you end throwing the pieces all around.  Now try it thinking oh shit 275 small pieces, read the directions, look at what you can make, ask for help --- ta da.  Simplistic ??  Yes but valid.

Angry people get good media coverage - angry people easily drown out the ones that are not.  We see this world wide - people are angry.  Many have been wronged, many have had their hope taken away and many see nothing but anger left for them.  This is dangerous - this is what drives racism, sexism, fanaticism.  We need to figure out how to give people a place for their anger and then a place to take it and make it into a world we can all share.

I see myself getting angry and then I get angry for only being angry - vicious cycle.  We have much to be angry about but anger needs to feed our desire to rebuild, recreate not just it's need to exist.  It is easier to divide and make us forget that our choice to act united is a powerful force.   I have a choice - I can choose whether to turn my anger toward positive.   I want to do this because we have some serious issues in the world today and right now they are only being fed anger.   This is the problem with so many of the candidates in this presidential race, both sides, they want to feed the division - the anger. That is not going to get us anything but more anger and less for each of us.   There is no them - for they are all us.  Tell me how you take that righteous indignation and change it to a strategy - not just a blame game.

It is time to listen to one another, to hear the pain in the anger, the fear in that anger and then when we have listened and we have been heard it is time to stop yelling and to quietly work together.  We owe it to our children, we owe it to ourselves.    It is easier to yell but we are resilient as a world - we can learn to do the hard stuff that comes with whispers and makes us smile.

I love the proverb that I used as an image, my only change is that once in a while much like the wolf you have to howl, growl and remind people that they do not want to give you the meal to let the other wolf out.  I am sad and confused on how to help my kids understand how to be kind and to deal with their anger when it seems to be so much more acceptable to just be angry.

Hey angry people - I am choosing not to be angry anymore but instead I am a determined optimist, you can get hoarse from shouting but I will have my soft voice long after that.  I choose love.

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