There is a lot of anger out there.
Global, national, political, social, economic, sectarian.
Through years of hiding our heads in the sand and putting off for tomorrow that which we should sacrifice today, we’ve made a mess of a lot of things.
And, to coin a phrase, everyone’s mad as hell.
And the resultant wounded roar is much like the shot heard around the world.
So, now that the igniting shot has been fired, what comes next?
To me, it looks like we have two choices: scream more oxygen into the flames and let the inferno burn everyone it touches; or, build a forge.
The first is easier, of course.
Many of us have waited to see Donald Trump burn himself out through his own ludicrous, hateful, petulant and arrogant behavior. The notion of him representing the country founded by those inspired of God is so ridiculous as to think it merely a vanishing blip on the radar screen.
But we are angry and he says all the things we want to hear, using flattering words for us while vilifying enemies and scapegoating “those people.”
This allows us to momentarily shift the responsibility from our own shoulders for the mess we find ourselves in.
It feels good to express our anger. Finally, we’ve found someone who “says what he thinks” and isn’t one of those demon politicians.
But if we actually stop and listen to what he says and what he doesn’t say, dig deeper into what he knows and what he doesn’t know, and really look at the person behind the personality, I think we’ll find a pretty ferocious wolf in sheep’s clothing.
What does that say about us?
It feels like we have allowed ourselves to become blinded by anger, and that anger is fueling an inferno that will end up burning us all.
Let’s talk about building a forge instead.
A carefully contained white-hot blaze changes the hardest of steel, but only through brief envelopment of the fire, followed by a quick dowsing of cool water and then the painstaking work of hammer and anvil.
Or, for us this means that after we’ve shouted out our anger, we have to hold our breath for the shocking immersion of cold reality and then brace ourselves to be molded into something more useful than before.
But it’s time. The dreaded sacrifices of a far-off tomorrow need to be chosen today.
Perhaps finding someone who tells us what we need to hear rather than someone who tells us what we want to hear is a good start.
And then begin to move past the anger to what comes next.
After all, leaving the steel always in the fire will simply melt it back to its liquid state – without form or purpose or use.
And when the flame finally dies, which it always does, all that remains is basically a rock.
We know that things are going to get tougher for all of us.
If we are smart, we’ll choose to face them head on rather than let them run us over.
I’ve realized that it’s not a matter of IF we will be at war; it’s a matter of IF we will choose to let our battles change us for the better.
Become something MORE.
You know, coming out of the forge as more than just a lumpy rock.
It’s time to seek out those courageous enough to tell us what we need to hear. It’s time to sacrifice yesterday’s aimless anger for today’s informed and united action. It’s time to lift where we stand rather than complaining that the piano is in the way.
Of course, this requires emotions other than anger, hate, or fear.
But that’s okay.
On the whole, we’ve mastered being angry.