I am angry this morning. Anger is hard for me. Not feeling it—that part is a piece of cake. I get angry a lot at everything from drivers who aren’t psychic to regressive laws to abusive authority figures. I can even express my anger when it is directed toward something as far outside me as a driver in another lane (or my lane, suddenly and unexpectedly).
When I am angry with people close to me, I have trouble. There’s a verse somewhere in the Bible about it being okay to get angry, but not to fall into sin. That’s exactly the problem. When I get angry, I no longer remember to be kind, to speak respectfully, to care about what is right and good. I don’t like what expressing my anger makes me.
One of my favorite books is Little Women. Perhaps that is just a sign of a conventional feminine childhood. Nonetheless, my consciousness was shaped by the social activism coupled with the deep personal responsibility of the book. In the book, Jo has to face her personal Apollyon in the form of her wild temper. Her anger nearly ends up destroying her sister. I don’t want to go there.
And yet, as Jonah says, “I do well to be angry, Lord.” Well, actually, Jonah didn’t get it and maybe I don’t either. I THINK I do well to be angry. I think I have good reasons. And yet, there is probably some failure of compassion in me.
Here’s where the trouble with education comes in. Those pesky teachers want me to examine the issues from multiple perspectives. They have trained me that, given two extremes on a spectrum, the reasonable solution is probably somewhere in the middle. They have pointed out, gently and not-so-gently, that there might be more for me to learn.
It was so much easier when I could just get really really mad and throw a tantrum and a few shoes. Now I have to go and think of some kind of practical solution. Grr.