Does anger rule the day, or can happiness make a comeback in the final rounds of the fray?
| It wasn’t that long ago that I took the opportunity to watch a movie about a man who was very angry with the world around him. It didn’t seem to matter what the circumstances were in which he found himself, he was simply angry with those circumstances and everyone within them. There were times when he was even able to articulate as to what it was that was making him so angry. But being able to say it aloud didn’t seem to make him feel any better. Why was he so angry? He really didn’t know.
Of course, that was a movie, and didn’t have a lot to do with reality, or did it. If you are paying attention to what’s going on in our society today – and in the world for that matter – you would see that people are very angry. And you don’t have to search high and low to find this anger; it may very well be in the house next door, or even in yours. Our expressions of anger have come to the point that we now have coined our own phrases to describe them. When our personal expressions of stress and anger took to the highways and byways we began to call it “Road Rage.” The moniker stuck and is now part of the lexicon. In the athletic world there was a period when performing enhancing drugs were all the rage – literally. One of the possible side effects of taking these drugs was explosive rage episodes. Such rage became known by the term, Roid Rage. Whether it was road or roid rage, the end result could be – and many times was – catastrophic. These episodes of rage, no matter how brought on, could very often end with someone being murdered. Now, some may be able to understand how a person using some body or mind altering drug – a somewhat dangerous drug at that – might kill someone. It is a lot more difficult to reconcile the murder of a fellow motorist because he cuts you off at the intersection. Yes, the highway can be a very dangerous place these days, and not because of the traffic. Just make sure you don’t wait too long to get going when the light turns green.
There is, of course, a difference between rage and anger. The ability to be angry is part of being human. If someone walks up to you – let’s say – in a restaurant and slaps your face for no apparent reason, you experience shock, and then anger. You have escalated to rage when you grab your steak knife and stab them five times. To be sure, we all may experience rage without resorting to murder. For some people, however, the line is very thin. And just to give you an idea of how convoluted this subject can be, here is a sample of the different types of anger and rage combinations:
Resentment is the feeling of anger directed towards a person or object which is suppressed and kept inside. It is a feeling which smolders and feels uncomfortable, and can possibly create more physiological and psychological damage.
Indignation is regarded as appropriate, controlled, positive type of anger.
This type of anger is explosive in nature and very dangerous.
Anger can be combinations
The three types of anger (rage, resentment, and indignation) can occur separately or in combination, depending on the situation. With an understanding of the different types of anger, it may become easier to deal with situations which provoke these feelings. Anger can be very hard to manage in that it may be part of your personality.
It is sad to say, that, for a great many people, anger in one sort or another is a constant companion of daily life. Many have completely forgotten how it feels to be happy. It has, indeed, become their most elusive desire. They have read all the latest best sellers. Oh, yeah, they’ve read and reread Joel Osteen’s “Your Best life Now” You would think by now they could get a handle on happiness. But no, they still find themselves depressed, lonely, and, angry.
One of our difficulties in life is our inability to confront personal problems head-on. Most people would much rather avoid problems. All of this escapism only results in loneliness, depression, and anger. When all we desperately want is to be happy we find so many reasons not to be. However, there are things we can do. Whenever feeling any significant anger toward yourself, God, or anybody else, you will best handle that anger if you immediately consider whether the anger is appropriate or inappropriate. In that way you may well get an insight into that anger. As we have already mentioned, some anger is natural and appropriate, while it is obvious that some is not. When you get angry because your selfish demands are not being met, that is inappropriate anger. On the other hand, if a coworker is going throughout the office spreading untruths concerning your character, and you get angry, that is most appropriate.
Now, concerning our most elusive desire and how we might achieve it. You know, that thing we all would love to possess, but find so difficult to hold on to, that thing called happiness. There are, believe it or not, some basic steps you can take to be happy. Now, that isn’t to imply that you will suddenly cease in becoming angry at times. That’s going to happen because life can be very difficult. You will also feel down at times because those potholes in the road of life can ware on even the most resilient personality. Those people you encounter in life can appear, at times, as though they have lost their minds. As a result, they will often make you want to lose yours. But enough of that, here are some basic steps to a happy life:
1. SELF-WORTH: Any human being who intends to be happy must have a strong sense of self-love. This is not narcissistic love where the world revolves around you, but that valuable asset of self-esteem.
2. INTIMACY WITH OTHERS: Nobody wants to be lonely. The only thing that can solve the ever-growing plague of loneliness is people learning to reach out to others. Lives have been changed by the simplest gestures of kindness. They didn’t cost a red cent but they were worth so much to those who received them.
3. INTIMACY WITH GOD: Now we know that there are those who don’t even believe in God. I can understand how many feel with the ever-growing number of hucksters willing to sell salvation at whatever you can afford to donate. That being the case, it still doesn’t change the fact that many will tell you that happiness became a reality when they came into a relationship with God.
Some people find it very difficult to be happy. As was already said, they’ve tried just about everything but happiness continues to elude them. Well, there is, of course, good news. Help is out there. It’s not like it used to be in the past. For the much greater part the stigma of depression has gone the way of the Dodo bird. The fact is, some people need medication to control their moods. Something in their brain doesn’t work exactly as it should. There is no shame in that. And please forgive me for a personal insertion, for I personally know of what I speak. Anger and depression do not have to rule your life. If you will help yourself by having the courage to do what needs to be done, then your life can be one in which you and others take joy. It will take effort, but that effort will pay off in ever growing dividends.