I don’t know about anyone else, but it would appear that we’ve got an over-abundance of angry people these days. Has anyone else noticed this trend? Because I have, and I can’t for the life of me understand why so many folks put so much energy into being so damned angry. It really does take a lot of emotional energy to stay that angry for an extended period of time. Some folks are so angry and distraught about things that are either literally all in their heads, or are absolutely out of the sphere of influence as to be something that would take an eternity of effort to even make a dent in getting anything done about it. At least anything productive. I simply can’t fathom that kind of effort and in the end all that results from it is misery. Nothing gets accomplished and the angry person ends up alone or worse.

Let me take a moment and say that are, as I see things, two types of anger and I’ll put this in terms that are readily and easily assimilated:

  1. Righteous Anger: This is the sort that erupts or results from circumstances where a real wrong has been done to someone and deserves speedy redress. It is, in most cases, it is short-lived and almost never results in a festering issue for the one who is angry or an overwhelming violent response.
  2. Unrighteous Anger: This is anger that is the result of a perceived wrong committed against the angry person, or anger brought about by something so egregious that the individual lacks the emotional and intellectual where-with-all to properly deal with it. Further, the issue which caused it is never addressed by the offender or the offendee and it is allowed to fester. Thus, the festering becomes malignant. The end result is never good by any stretch of the imagination. It almost always results in the destruction of someone or something…. Usually a someone.

I remember some wisdom I learned from my childhood in Sunday school that, as a young man didn’t really make sense to me until I was much older:

…”Vengeance is mine”, says the Lord. “I will repay.”

– Almighty God

That has stuck with me all these years. Now, whether you’re a believer or not, the truth of that statement shouldn’t be lost on you. Either way, what’s being said here is  a truth that when anger is allowed to consume a person nothing good will come of it and it will consume the angry one until there is literally nothing left.

The other evening I was having one of those nights where sleep wasn’t going to come early in the evening so I found myself channel-surfing. I happened onto one of the movie channels that was playing The Punisher. There is a lot about this movie that almost every member of the human race can identify with, so I watched. At the end of the movie, during the last scene before the credits the main character, Frank Castle, was standing on a bridge having vanquished all his enemies – those who had killed his entire family – and looked out over the waters below the bridge he was on. It wasn’t lost on me that he was standing there alone, and I believe having vanquished all his enemies must have been feeling rather empty and having nothing at hand any longer to do, was looking into the future for something to apply his unrequited and left-over anger to the rest of the evil doers he may run into that he was coming for them.

He was indeed empty and now alone by virtue of the fact that since the bad guys had killed all his loved ones all this guy had were the bad guys and once they were gone he essentially had nothing. But, since conveniently there are plenty of evil ass-hats available he chose to place his focus on them and move forward. I know… In the Marvel Comic universe he’s a dark good-guy, but in the real world he would be considered insane and go against all that the rule of law represents. That, in and of itself, says a lot about our culture and the darkness that lies beneath so close to the surface of our humanity.

Anger is a thief and a destroyer. As individuals we’re not singularly qualified to meet out justice on things that make us angry to the point where we’re no longer in control of it… if we ever were. With that thought in mind the best course of action is to put all the effort we can muster into not getting angry, but rather look for a way, method, or path where we can effectively change things that would cause unrighteous anger. Life is far too short to spend all that emotional currency, energy and time being angry. Eventually, someone will arrive by your side with a platinum coated crow-bar with which to pry your head from your rectum and that is never pleasant.

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