Anger is only the beginning…

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of my late grandmother and as any of you who have lost a family member or indeed any loved one will know it can bring out all manner of emotions. There is the joy of sharing fond memories and the bringing together of the family juxtaposed to the pain of loss as well as possible feelings of anger, guilt or regret. On top of this there is a sobering reminder of our own mortality which can most certainly put things into perspective.

In my last blog entry I discussed the need for people to get ‘mad as hell’ and for a good reason; there’s a lot to get mad about and anger is a very powerful emotion. It is one of our most primitive emotions which I’m sure we would have evolved away from were it no longer useful.

However, whilst it does give us a rush of adrenalin and a feeling of empowerment it will only get you so far and on its own is generally a tool of destruction or defiance. The key is to turn it into something more through the power of the will coupled with a vision of a better future.

It is anger that has led to the riots of 2011 which one would find hard to see much in the way of benefits. I would also say that anger was a key factor in the eruption of the Occupy movement. This is due to the feelings of injustice at the seemingly alternate universe which bankers, corporate fat cats and our elected “representatives” inhabit, full of multi-million pound bonuses, astronomical tax avoidance and rewards for failure. Though in comparison to the riots, Occupy certainly did much more in the way of good with some bankers being shamed into giving back their bonuses and more importantly bringing such issues into public discourse. In my opinion, the problem with Occupy was that it knew much of what was wrong but did not know what to replace it with. Thus, people flocked to the outward expression of indignation to begin with, but were quickly left confused or frustrated as Occupy never really formed a solid political cadre with which people could get behind.

It seems that whilst anger is useful and can spur people and movements on, it is unsustainable as a basis for more permanent change both for individuals as well as movements and should be used in moderation.

It seems as though there is a lot of anger bubbling away due to changes being pushed through parliament which are really starting to have adverse effects on people’s lives. However, a lot of this anger is being repressed by people who feel isolated or too scared to vent their frustrations due to the stoic British culture. Currently, where anger does spill over it is either raw and unbridled, leading to destruction or persecution of scapegoats such as immigrants or “scroungers”, or it is unorganised and unsustainable leading to a momentary surge followed by a quick fizzling out. Anger shouldn’t be a driving force though. It may temper actions and strengthen resolve but something more is needed. If we’re to create a better world it needs to incorporate compassion, love and kindness not just an indignation for the people or systems that are responsible for the injustice of today. It is also essential to not let anger run everyday life. Live in the moment and strive for whatever it is that’s going to create happiness. Mix up the daily routine, help someone, try new things and never forget to dream! Just don’t forget to put the work in to make the dream a reality; it’s the little steps that make the big changes.

Talking of little steps I’d like to thank those of you who took the time to read my last blog entry. Particularly those of you who felt compelled to share it, for it is thanks to you that my voice was heard as far as Canada! I hope you continue to enjoy as I write, feel free to leave your own comments/musings/rants on here.

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