" Anger Seems to be Everywhere Today "
#1
Nice little post I saw today about anger. It brought me to the memory of an uncle who used to tell me, "The only difference between an angry man and a madman, is the length of time he is angry". That kinda stuck with me.


Article Wrote:catholicstand.com

Anger Seems to be Everywhere Today - Catholic Stand
By Mark Belanger


When it comes to anger, it seems to be a good news / bad news situation these days.

The good news is that everybody in the United States is not angry all the time. The bad news is that there is more free-floating anger waiting to spark into active wrath than I remember since the late 1960s and early ‘70s.

The proximate and widely perceived cause is political division. The deeper and more serious cause is a profound social and cultural separation.  The separation began at the turn of the 19th century and is now responsible for distinctly different and sometimes incompatible world views.

One can find many views on this divergence, but I think it mostly reduces to a question of authority: are humans completely morally autonomous, or are we responsible to an external moral Law? That is, do we decide for ourselves what is right or wrong or must we defer to what we Catholics think of as God’s Law?

This is not a strict binary, of course; people fall out on a spectrum.  Among other things, people tend to adopt the social and cultural mores of their time and place.  They handle divergences from their primary moral allegiance by rationalization or simple cognitive dissonance.

But wherever they fall on that spectrum, people are constructed to think about events in terms of right and wrong. And when people see something going on they think is wrong, they often become angry.


“You’re Not The Boss Of Me”

My aunt and uncle once left my cousins at my grandparents while they visited other relatives.  Grandmother, never shy about exercising her authority, told my youngest cousin to do something, or, perhaps, to stop doing something. My little cousin looked up with the confidence only a 4-year old can have and said “You’re not the boss of me.”

My grandparents loved to tell this story, but they never said what happened after the remark. Knowing my grandmother it was probably not a gentle acquiescence to the will of a grandchild. But it is this attitude, even, at times, this very phrase that lies at the heart of human rebellion against God. Rephrased slightly, it becomes “I’m the boss of me. Nobody else is the boss of me.”

And given our gift of Free Will, this is true. Terrifyingly so.

When we use our free will to define for ourselves what is right and wrong it may be relatively trivial.  It might be having too many cookies and soft drinks in one day.  But it could also be as hideously dreadful as the Holocaust.

There is no comparison here, obviously. One day’s mild gluttony does not begin to compare to years of torture, murder, and devastation. And yet both spring from the same kind of moral offense – I can decide for myself what is right and what is wrong; what is permissible and what is forbidden; what is good and what is bad.

Think Original Sin: “I am the only boss of me.“


One Dynamic Of Social Anger

There are people capable of hearing the sentence “What you are doing is wrong” from someone other than a close friend without internally translating it into “You are wrong”. I have not met many of them.  But there are also plenty of people who cannot make this translation even when the remonstration comes from a close friend.

Our human default is to associate what we do with what we are – until we get caught.  At which time “He’s a good person; he just did a bad thing!” becomes a common refrain for the cameras.

But this is true from the perspective of the observer as well. The transition from “what you are doing is wrong” to “you are wrong,” and therefore not a good person because you’re doing a wrong thing, is all too easy, swift, and unnoticed.

We live in a time when political opinions have taken on a moral weight.  Examples abound: the funding of abortions, the funding and missions of the military, the funding and operation of social programs, or even the funding of space exploration.

When there was a social consensus on the source of moral authority, it was easier to build a social consensus on such matters.  It was not always easy, but it was easier. When that social consensus is shattered, the result is almost certain to be social conflict.

When I am the only boss of me, it is hard to make room for the ideas, needs or wants of others.


This Is Our Time To Witness

This is our time as Christians to witness. But in a time of moral rebellion when many people are asserting their moral autonomy as a primary right, even as a facet of their identity, we must act with as much humility as we can muster if we are to have any hope of reaching them.

Which means, as an old (1928) Episcopal Book Of Common Prayer I have says, our personal behavior must “show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days.”

We will need many soft answers to turn away as much wrath as is floating around us.  Lowering the temperature of our social media conversations is one good place to start.

Sometimes forbearance is the best we can offer; in the words of the Disney character Thumper’s father, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

It is not, perhaps, always appropriate to look for something nice to say – but it is necessary to look for a way to say it that is at least not hostile, and at best irenic. Coerced agreements are notoriously fragile.


Perseverance In Times Of Adversity

Every age has its manifestations of adversity. Part of the Christian response is always to persevere – to continue to walk the path set out by Our Lord. In our age, we are going to have to relearn the virtue of persevering in spite of public scorn.  We will have to persevere in opposition to media tropes and the attempts to usurp the Gospel by the secular prophets of niceness, personal privacy, and moral autonomy. And we will have to do so lovingly and with humility.  This poses a difficult challenge, but it is a challenge we must rise to meet.

I pray regularly for a new Great awakening to sweep through our country and the world.  But until such time as God grants that Grace we must live in the harsh, increasingly secular and angry world.  And we must strive to meet it with the redeeming love our Savoir has shown for us.


Prayer:
Lord Jesus, give us the gift of the Holy Spirit that we may answer wrath with kindness, scorn with love, and abuse with wisdom. As St. Francis asked, make us instruments of your Peace, drawing a world that is hostile and estranged from you back into loving relationship with you and the Father by emulating you in our own lives. And if nothing else, Lord, remind us when it is time to say nothing at all.
Amen
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
Art Bell
  
I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
Mark Twain

All War is Deception
Gen. Sun

You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

Political Correctness is Fascism pretending to be manners.
George Carlin

“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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" Anger Seems to be Everywhere Today " - by Zedta - 06-24-2021, 12:30 PM



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