What has anger given the world? Let’s see, anger over oppression began many world democracies. It allows righteous people to overthrow slavery, racism, sexism and degradation. It gave women the determination to stand up to being owned as property, as well as to protest no rights of motherhood or property. It allowed men like Jesus to throw commerce out of the temples. It awoke many to rethink the filth of industrialism, coal mining, child labor and sweat shops. It allowed thousands of enslaved and oppressed nations to rise up for freedom, protest colonialism, denounce holocausts and overthrow despots from Attila the Hun to Adolph Hitler and beyond.
But anger is not great at PTA meetings, family dinners and hormone filled teen conflicts, right? Well, healthy anger, controlled anger is a good and healthy if it is communicated honestly, conveyed respectfully and managed skillfully. One problem is that such anger is not always recognized to be anger. Exploitation is the root of anger, it can be also seen as alienation, disfranchisement, discrimination, or oppression of any person, system, place, or being.
Anger, a Hollywood staple of out of control violence, abuse and road rage that ends in picture perfect fireballs, is not something that human beings can always recognize. But anger can be effective when it is handled well. Anger can wear many disguises, and most of the ones it wears are perhaps overly familiar to most people. It is this drama queen hussy- hissy fit, the spoiled brat celebrity tantrum, the bad guy drive by violence, the drug lord’s arsenal of spitting bullets, the desperate housewives’ smoldering pearl pistol smoke, the potty mouthed insults of hair tearing cat fights on reality television and everyone’s favorite, the sociopaths effortless rape, torture, torment and smooth talking smirk of the serial killer, ala’ silence of the lambs.
People then, as can be seen by the very fact that the question comes up, have much to learn about anger. People live in denial about every emotion, and continue to suffer by their easily angered relationships with other beings in the world. The root cause of anger is always exploitation. When an entity is exploited, suffering is always the result. When the suffering becomes intolerable, anger surfaces, for better or for worse.
Today, fortunately, people have finally learned to be rational, thinking and concerned enough to begin to think about how others, people, children, minorities, forests, oceans, resources and more will be the basis of conflict and anger. Even when an entity such as an extinct leopard or even plant is overly exploited and destroyed, although the cat or plant cannot express anger, someone who values it does.
Most cultures, especially ancient and native ones, have a direct belonging to natural places in the world. Often they are uprooted from those places, but that only fuels the anger. That is why people today, with righteous anger, are right to question who benefits when anyone or anything is exploited. When all is said and done, anger, if managed well has aided human progress in the world. If not, at least a tinder box is ignited, that one way or another, simmering anger will ever so slowly force change upon the world.