Uggh. I think of all the people I’ve annoyed/hurt and (because I am not a saint) the opportunities I’ve squandered/never had because one of my more obvious flaws (there are several), namely anger, lack of anger management.
In the word asshole the a is surely for anger (and one of the esses is for sanctimony, but let’s not go on with the acrostic – it will make folks cross.)
So, I am doing what I do when I am confused/stressed/unsure/breathing – I am reading a book.
It’s called “Overcoming Anger and Irritability” by William Davies.
The book, because it is all CBT, makes many good points in a deliberately repetitive way. This bit was good –
This is not to say anger is never justified. There is that Aristotle quote
“Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.”
Anger CAN be an energy
Anger is an energy. Yes, but one that really needs very careful controlling, control rods, to stop things going critical. You can’t just grab two lumps of uranium and jam them together and expect nothing bad to happen to you
And of course anger has that thrill of sanctimony, to it. But even if you ARE right, so what? Are you getting what you need/want? Probably not – you become blind, and easily manipulable.
Ah, another quote, just came to mind, from Michael Stipe.
“I know that this is vitriol
No solution, spleen-venting
But I feel better having screamed
Maybe. But the old “catharsis” line is just too convenient sometimes?
Anger really clouds your mind – one way of ending up with a helmet fire (alongside its cousin , fear).
The danger here is also in tone-policing – and the handy way smug complacent overlords and alongside-lords and under-but-still-lords (aka kapos etc) will use the tone of voice used by someone who is saying things that they don’t want to hear as an excuse not to engage, or to disengage. “Civility” is weaponised so easily.
Anyway, look, talk is cheap – let’s see how I do in real-life shituations where I might be willing to shit on the Aristotle thing and just get angry because I can/have in the past. Not well, the first few times, I suspect. But “it gets easier” as Jason tells Nicky. And then there’s all the other stuff to try to sort out too – civwilling.
Footnote – “Civwilling” – is short for “civilisation willing”. It refers to the ability of global agro-systems to keep feeding rising 8 billion people. It won’t go on for much longer. There will be a die-off and a forced and grim relocalisation. Then a question of how much we lose (see Triffids- I knew about this from 198x). There always has been, always will be a sword of Damocles hanging over each of us as individuals. What is new, since 1945, is a global sword, or swords – nuclear war, which would at least be fairly quick, and now, well, the rough beast slouching towards us.
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