Let’s coin a term, “irrational anger.”
You might quite reasonably respond, “Is anger ever rational?” So let’s define rational anger as “anger that exists when you are clear on all the relevant facts.” This does not mean that just because you have all the facts, that your anger is justifiable. However, there is at least a valid rationale supporting it.
Irrational anger is anger not supported by the whole picture – all the relevant facts. The alleged facts are invalid, or there are other relevant facts that you are not aware of or have chosen to ignore.
To my experience that is by far a more common type of anger. With partial, biased, or totally inaccurate knowledge, you make a decision about something, get angry, and are incapable of looking deeper. You have heard enough and do not want to be confused with additional facts or corrections of inaccuracies.
A red flag that you do not want to hear or are ignoring the facts, is when, in your mind, you conclude that people known to be honorable are lying, or spinning the truth.
Now there is another important point here. I have spoken of first response, which is your initial reaction/response to something. I have taught the importance of developing the ability to create a second wiser response. In the case of irrational anger, you may hold on to the first response with great dedication while steam-rolling your way through whatever additional facts and perspectives that may come up.
You may then insist that your anger is now a second response. Not so! A healthy second response is not steamrolling. In fact, in association with first and second response, lets coin another term: “Steamrolling.” You would do well to sometimes ask yourself if you are steamrolling.
I have often associated success in life with the image on the 1793 large cent of Lady Liberty. She is facing forward with dedication and purity of heart while her hair blows in the wind. That wind is, more often than not, irrational anger stirred up by anyone who is accomplishing great things in life.
From Gandhi to George Washington, irrational anger is the wind in their faces. Just drive down the street; look at any building, farm, or banner and know that the wind in the face of that accomplishment was at least in significant part irrational anger.
Does that mean that all opposition is irrational? No, of course not. However, most of it is irrational most of the time. And never is any great thing, not faced with irrational anger.
Irrational anger is exhausting. The only way to deal with it is to keep moving and give the people time to come around.
Rational anger, which is much more rare, at least leads itself to the cultivation of a healthy second response.
Now you are faced with a life-determining question, “Are you willing to face the wind?” Are you willing to have the torrential winds of irrational anger come your way and still move forward with dedication and purity of heart? If not, your life will be blown in the wind like tumbleweed and you will have little to show for your life at the end of your life.
In review, let’s all try to remember the two terms we have coined today and use them when appropriate; “irrational anger,” and “steamrolling.”
Also, it is good to not forget that this is Kali Yuga, the age of ignorance. Ignorance means ignoring. “To ignore” is the stuff irrational anger is made of. Irrational anger is the most destructive sin of this age.
In closing, please remember Gandhi’s words, “Hate the sin, love the sinner.”