Friday, January 29, 2010

Why So Angry?

I have been writing about a lot of deep issues lately—spirituality, life, death, introspection, the tragic devastation in Haiti—and vowed that the next post I write would be one of my funny ones (hey, at least I find them funny). Or maybe a musical interlude that helps take your mind off all of those heavy issues crowding one another on the front pages of the newspapers, Internet, and television news.

I mean, one of the things I have always stressed at is the need to laugh, to enjoy life while working hard and doing all that you can to keep that old triad balanced. Life is often a struggle, filled with heartbreak and sadness. But it is also, more often than not, a beautiful, magical, wonderful experience. Oh, the paradoxes!

But while my funny post never materialized, this did:


I know things seem bad these days, in many ways for many people. To that I say: get in line! Join the club! Deal with it!


Life is life is life. It’s going to have its ups and downs, its highs and lows, its good and bad. None of this is any news, or should come as a big surprise. And I understand that lots of what’s going on in the world is frustrating and totally out of your control, leading me, again, to ask:


Because, the way I look at it, if you react with ANGER to bad situations, to all those lists of things that bug you, you’re going to be ANGRY pretty much all the time. Why would you choose to live your life that way?

I keep hearing the talking heads (no, not these guys) on the tube refer to people and their ANGER, how everyone is ANGRY with that politician so they voted him out; or how this poor guy lost his job and is now very ANGRY; or how this group didn’t get what they wanted and they are described as, you guessed it, ANGRY.


I’m not trying to be argumentative (and, of course, this is making you ANGRIER, right?), I’m just saying: you choose to be ANGRY. The issues in this world that are making you upset and mad and ANGRY will be around long after we are all deep in the ground…life, as I say, is life is life. To get ANGRY at it, no matter how upsetting it can make us, is not the solution. Think about that while you watch this:


Now, where was I? Right:


Take a look at how the dictionary defines ANGER:

1. strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire.

And some synonyms: resentment, exasperation; choler, bile, spleen. FURY, INDIGNATION, RAGE imply deep and strong feelings aroused by injury, injustice, wrong, etc.

Wow, pretty intense, huh? Leading me to interject once again:


Here’s how I look at it—I get it, I see the big picture. There is frustration out there: healthcare reform, unemployment, racism, terrorism, bungling politicians, overpaid executives, greedy bankers—I’m not blind or unsympathetic to those issues. But to react to them with ANGER, hatred or anything but trying to seek positive solutions makes you, well, part of the problem.

It’s easy to point fingers, say “I told you so,” and embrace the negative movement propagated by too many for reasons that are beyond me. To basically sit and get ANGRY versus taking action and trying to change things...well, to that I say:


Getting angry serves no purpose. In fact, it can cause serious health problems—heart attacks, high blood pressure, depression, violence. Getting angry is how narrow minded, uncreative, do-nothings react to problems. We all have problems. We all have days, weeks, sometimes years, when things go wrong and our lives seem hopeless. We deserve to be down, right?

“We are judged by how we react to adversity more than how we embrace prosperity.”

Nice quote.

Thank you, I just made it up.

It's good to have passion, to care, to be informed; don't ever stop living your life with purpose. But ANGER? No.

Take all that ANGER, please, and try to channel it, put it to constructive, positive use, and, guess what? You may just discover that you will gradually become part of the solution and not the problem. And, better yet:


Think about it.


Until next time...



Oh, and here's that music I promised:

"Like a Hurricane" by Neil Young (Acoustic Cover)


Faisal Admar said...

sometimes, you just can't help it. it just blow!

i can get so angry when i'm so tired. sigh.

Dori said...

I love this post Mike :)

Bagman and Butler said...

Great trick! I kept waiting for the song and listened to your whole talk...and the music was further down the page!!!! And it didn't make me the least bit angry! Woo hoo. And I've decided that it can't be a coincidence that the verification word was "angrep." I think the blogger program uses cues from blogs.

Rod said...

In my opinion, you can choose to be happy or angry, the amount of work is the be happy. Peace Mike.

Robin Easton said...

Hi dear Mike, this is really really good. I've never seen such a good post on anger. I really agree with you. And I LOVE the part about channeling anger. And the part about becoming part of the problem when we don't channel our anger. Wow!! THAT is good and so true.

I have to talk to you sometime about what you are doing with your writing re: books. Did you ever write a book about your OWN life story, the before and after story and what you went through that moved you from one place to the other? What was your tipping point?

I am just loving listening to you sing this Neil Young song again. Just beautiful. Mike NEVER underestimate you talent, ability to change lives. I see you headed into some VERY powerful directions that really feel VERY VERY right.
Hugs, Robin And thank you...peace :)

Susan Blake said...

Hi Mike! Hey, a serenade yet! Who could ever be angry at YOU? :)
I spent a few decades as a little warrior myself - I know what ya mean about mellowing with age - thank God there's SOMEthing good about aging, huh? :)

Unknown said...

faisal: sleep deprivation is a challenge...we all get upset, it's up to each of us to take the high road...good luck

dori: i am so pleased that you love this post...

bagman: my cleverness was an accident...or was it? glad you stayed until the end...

rod: well said, the amount of work is the same so why not choose happiness?

robin: thanks, again, for the amazing comment and wonderful feedback. funny you should ask about writing books...i am currently working on two books: one an extension of this blog, while the other is a book (along with a song and music video) about changing the world, if we really want to. as for a memoir; it is constantly on my things to do list as i struggle with finding the time to do all that need to do...stay tuned (i would love to talk with you about this, whenever you have some time...let me know, please)...thanks for your continued kind words of inspiration, they keep me going...

suzen: how did you know that my singing is meant as a serenade to you? funny, huh, how we once young rebels with attitude end up being what we are's all in learning from life and getting better with age...a choice, too, when you think about it...

thanks for all the great comments...



Unknown said...

Mike you never seize to amaze me with your wisdom :-) I agree--too many angry people in this world. I say go ahead and disagree or agree to disagree, have discussion and then move on with YOUR life! I love this, it is really good stuff!!

Thank You!

Paul Eilers said...

Sometimes, you just have to let it all hang out.

By the way, who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?


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Sandy said...

Very nice post Mike. Anger is the cause of all miseries one should know how to control it.

FitnessOver50 said...

Over time I have learned to control the anger and for the most part just let it go.

Anger is a terrible thing. Too much will eventually cause high blood pressure.Not a good thing.

when the anger does come, I find a release through exercise, even if it is just walking.

Better to be happy than angry.


Unknown said...

terri: discussion is vital, but accepting more so...

paul: hi, let it out in a productive, not destructive way...and i am rooting for the saints, but think peyton and the boys look pretty strong...

sandy: we all have strong emotions about many things, the key is not allowing them to get in the way of doing...

fitnessover50: exercise is a great release, as is mediation and laughter...i recommend them all



v3 said...

nice article..

Katrine said...

This post was such an encouragement! I liked your point about choosing to be angry over things.

My problem though is occasionally having anger and not doing a good job getting rid of it, letting it out. I think of it as something very bad, and suppress it by all means while it's slowly poisoning my body and spirit. I liked what FitnessOver50 said about exercising. Helps tremendously.

Still, maybe sometimes it is OK to be angry for a little bit, and then move on to your ordinary life having cleared up the room for love and harmony?

Chris said...

Man, this mad me angry!! HAHA...J/K
Thank you for expressing your insights and honesty. Great post!

vlad3368 said...

Many people are angry because they don't have the True Peace, Love, and Joy in their heart... why?... because they are looking in the wrong places... so where should they start looking for them?... in Jesus Christ. Yes, it's that simple, just ask Jesus to forgive you and save you and fill you with His True Peace, Love, and Joy :)