Monday, March 9, 2009

Anger



We've been talking about anger, and I've been thinking more about it. Sure, it is one thing to become outraged at injustice, livid about mistreatment of animals, children, and others dependent on us, and incensed when egregious crimes are committed. It's another to let it destroy us. We can't live that way. So what do we do? How do we use those feelings for good? I spent too much time with moral superiority and righteous indignation toward a couple of family members when I was going with a black guy. I made my point but am not sure it changed any minds. If we are as sick as our secrets, I'm trying to get rid of mine. Then I had it big time when my daughter found me because it dredged up all those emotions I'd buried for so long. I was angry with society for making me give away my baby because it made other people uncomfortable that I wasn't married. So much pain and might-have-beens with that experience, but it was 1963 and philosophically still the 50's, and I lived in a very small town. No, I have no nostalgia for that era.

But back to anger. How do we reconcile atrocities with healthy emotional living? Well, it isn't easy but it's vital. We have to do it if we are to accomplish anything worthwhile with the experiences that caused that outrage in the first place. Many have done this and look what happened! Thank goodness there are people with a world view and who recognize that there are ethical laws that rise above and elevate the human condition. Lawrence Kohlberg classified the stages of moral development, and those people are at Stage 6. I'll post about that separately.

What are your thoughts about forgiveness? To me, it's more about us than them. It's about finding a way to deal with resentment, hate, and outrage that won't harm us and will let us live with mental and emotional health. Maybe we can live just fine not forgiving someone while not hating them. What do you think?

3 comments:

frogponder said...

What a wonderful fellow! :-))
And good post.

Bob said...

I've always thought he was a remarkable man.
Thanks for posting this.

Berry Blog said...

another good post.
Perhaps forgiveness-letting go
I am convinced that the body harbors resentment, hatred,etc like some poisons accumulate before they destroy.
Anger will hit the heart area in almost a direct blow.
Resentment hits the whole digestive area and most directly around the solar plexus area and the elimination tracts.
Not being able to let go literally reflects int he elimination system.
I think anger is a lot about not living our own life but identifying with the feelings/opinions of others.
Perhaps we can forgive others most easily by admitting that their opinions about us are none of our business. When we know we aren't going to change their minds, we should remember, "not our business" so we can just drop it.
Oversimplified i know.