Since I have nothing better to do because of my Bum Leg (as in, I'm Bummed that my leg hurts!!), I'm filling my time pondering Deep Thoughts.
I follow Seth Godin's blog. He's a marketing genius, delivering a fresh perspective to my inbox every day. Over the weekend, he addressed the rise of incivility in our society.
You can read his essay here.
Like Seth, I have long believed that a great deal of the rage being expressed (towards Evil Business, towards Evil Government, towards Evil Religion, etc) is merely an attempt to hit out at anything and everything that can be reached.
For example - my business is struggling...it must be somebody's fault. I'm going to lash out at the political establishment in any way that I can. Never mind that my business wasn't really doing well before the recession, never mind that I look foolish lobbing bombs without clear focus at The Other Side...it's their fault.
Or - I love spending money, never met a credit card I didn't like. Then the recession came, banks went belly up and the credit card company changed my credit limit. My credit score is destroyed and I have a ton of debt that I can't pay back. Someone's at fault - it must be the fat cats on Wall Street! Never mind that I had no self-discipline in my spending habits, never mind that I'm trying to live a upper class life on a middle class salary...it's their fault.
I could go on. But what's the point? Those who are angry will just stay angry.
Sunday, I asked a pastor friend about being angry within our faith. I was curious what feelings of anger, hurt and frustration might mean to a spiritual life. He told me that being angry wasn't necessarily a heaven/hell issue (in his opinion), it was a happiness/joy issue. In the end, by not working through anger, hurt and frustration, we block our ability to experience a joy-filled life.
I suppose that's what Seth is talking about, too, though from a secular perspective. When we're constantly at war, fueled by anger and fear, we're only harming ourselves. We're cutting ourselves off from the What Could Be's.
I'm thinking it's high time to stop being a victim and start living life to its fullest again.