“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.”Malcolm X (1925-1965)
What do you get when you drop an egg onto an open flame? A mess.
But what if, before you drop the egg, you put a pan over the flame? You get a crispy fried egg.
Anger is not the enemy. Anger is a perfectly justifiable response to, as a rational person, looking out at what’s going on in the world. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that if you’re not angry, then there is something wrong with you.
The thing is, you’ve been taught your whole life that it’s wrong to be angry. That your anger is unacceptable. Inappropriate. You’ve been encouraged to see yourself, rather than the object of your anger, as the real problem. You were lied to. You are not the problem. And neither is your anger. Anger is a gift.
But on its own – like the flame in the example above – anger isn’t all that useful. It just makes a mess. And the common way people deal with this is that they pretend not to be angry, and they pretend that there’s nothing to be angry about, not really.
No. Don’t do that any longer.
You want to be angry. You want to be seething, if that’s what you feel when you contemplate the state of the world. But you can’t stop there. You want to find a way to channel this anger, a way to make it useful. To transform it from something destructive to something creative.
There is nothing quite like anger for motivating positive change in the world. So let yourself be angry. Accept it. Welcome it in. Honour it, maybe for the first time in your life.
Just don’t stop there – decide how you’re going to use it.