Wednesday, October 9, 2013

I'm (Not) Mad as Hell

(I actually wrote this piece months ago.  Following up on yesterday's post, I think it timely.)

Remember this?


Amazing that this film came out in 1976, isn't it?

Amazing that many of the same things spoken of right here are still happening, isn't it?

And are people still angry?  Are they mad as hell?

Yep.  Just read a few comments on any given article about the goings on in Washington, D.C.  Just read a few comments on any given story about gun control.  Just read the comments on any given article about the Trayvon Martin case.  People are angry.  People are full of fear.  There are some saying that Civil War is right around the corner.

And you might ask me, "Don't you think we should be angry at all of this?  Don't you think we should be mad as hell and refuse to put up with all of this stuff?"

Don't you think we should be mad as hell that over 8,000 people were murdered by people using guns in 2012?
Don't you think we should be mad as hell that unemployment still hovers at near 8%?
Don't you think we should be mad as hell that our government uses drones to kill American citizens without due process?
Don't you think we should be mad as hell that 1% of the U.S. population controls the majority of its wealth?
Don't you think we should be mad as hell that there are millions in poverty?
Don't you think we should be mad as hell that there are people starving, who are mal-nourished and under-nourished?

Anger is a possible reaction.  It can certainly be a tremendous motivator.  Yet, I ask, is it the best motivation one can use?

I'm a Star Wars fan.  I think Master Yoda shows tremendous wisdom:


Anger, in my estimation is not the ultimate motivator.  Anger, in my estimation does lead to hate, and hate leads to suffering. 

Ever hear of a dude who said, "Love your enemies and bless those who persecute you."?

Hate is easy.  Anger is easy.

Acting out of love is not.  Working to change the reality of this world without demonizing and condemning the other "side" is extremely difficult.

Yet, it is the path Christ called His disciples to follow.  He called us to act with compassion, realizing the merits and sinfulness of all--realizing that the person who disagrees with you is also a child of God.

Remember, Jesus, who often criticized the Pharisees also was a regular guest in their homes, eating and celebrating with them.  He did not let His criticism lead to hatred.

Why?

Jesus acted out of love.  Plain and simple.

Love drives away fear.

It leads to restoration.

It leads to justice.

It leads a person to work toward improving the world, one step at a time-one piece at a time.

We often get frustrated and angry at the way the world works, and we'd like to see change; however, we fail to recognize our limitations.  We fail to realize that God has called us to work within a certain sphere and a certain reference.  Changing things means operating and functioning in that sphere--taking responsibility for the things one has the capability of affecting.

This is why I am not mad as hell.  I stick with what I can do and do not get frustrated when things happen which are outside of my control.  I strive to act with love and grace-acknowledging my anger, but letting go of it instead of allowing it to grow and fester and lead to hate and suffering.