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Rated: GC · Column · Emotional · #2231516
Entry #1 01/28/2006
In order to understand my anger, my entries will have one of these headings: trigger, effect, factor, progress or obstacle. I may add other headings later if I feel I have missed a category. So for today I'm going to discuss something that triggers anger: ignorance.

For me, any and all forms of ignorance can set me off. Anything from someone not reading simple instructions to a politician deliberately decieving his/her constituents is fair game in triggering my anger. As you can imagine, this makes my life miserable, especially since I deal with ignorance voluntarily as a moderator. The instances of online ignorance involving my mod duties, however, will be kept in strict confidence. I already had one dream about getting demoted.

Anyway, so what happens when I'm faced with ignorant behaviors? There's no set pattern when it comes to me coping, but my reactions vary from simple annoyance to flailing outrage. The latter is rare and saved for when someone I expect to know something completely drops the ball. The annoyance, though, is much more common, and its buildup leads to simmering anger for me. With ignorance, though, the anger almost never escapes my system. It usually festers in my mind and body, resulting in headaches, sleeplessness, daytime fatigue and stomach pain.

Many events can lead to ignorance-triggered anger. Recent events include President Bush (and I will be devoting an entry to him later on), those who sit around and ask for help without searching first, people who demand things without understanding the feasibility of a task and self-ignorance. Out of all of these, self-ignorance is the worst of the culprits. If I don't know something and have to dig for it, I will beat myself up for days and weeks at a time, especially if my own ignorance has caused me great public humiliation. This type of ignorance is also one that is never physically expressed. When I'm pissed at myself for a past transgression when I was caught without knowing the answer, I never let anyone see how upset I am. In a lot of cases, not even my family or mi amor will see the anger I inflict on myself. This anger is also some of the most difficult anger I have to face. No wonder anger weighs so heavily on my self-identity.

So what can I do about ignorance? What an awfully loaded question! Aside from self-ignorance, this trigger is largely out of my control. I can't determine what another person knows and their actions in light of their knowledge (or lackthereof). With online ignorance, I can exercise care in choosing what I read and therefore answer. With politicians and politics and general, I suppose I can devote more time to researching issues than absorbing opinion-based sound bytes. For demanding people, I'm not so sure. I suppose I could always send them a link to Viv's piece on begging, but I think I'll need to walk away from these people until my stress levels come down enough so I can handle these people. I don't think I'm read to face them yet. I don't think my resolve is that strong, and I need to hold onto my resolve in spite of its rather vulnerable state. Otherwise, I'll never make it.
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