Don’t Just Get Angry, Get Involved
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr
I’m angry. I’ve been angry since the election. In fact, my anger has only grown since then.
A lot of you are also angry, I know because you’ve told me. Opinions polls show an historic majority of this country is angry too. I’m not even talking about a difference of political opinion either, that we’ll just set aside. It’s every disparaging tweet, every absurd conflict of interest, every self serving position, every unqualified nominee that sparks a tiny bit more rage in my soul. If you’re not angry — if you’ve been watching all this ridiculousness go down and you’re totally cool with it — that kind of makes me angry too.
So yeah I’m angry, but also I know it’s time to move forward. Anger alone is dangerous. It’s time to turn that anger into action.
Pure unadulterated anger leads to depression and retreat. It sops you of your energy and creative passion. It leads to disengagement, to cruelty, to the very bad behavior we abhor in our new leader. It leads to lost friendships and lost opportunities for understanding. It leads to hopelessness.
Anger can inspire a host of other passions, but by itself it’s the first step towards a meaningless life. Anger can solidify your ideals, but alone it’s the first line of a losing argument. Anger can reinvigorate your future, but if you dwell on it to long all it does is hold you back.
Don’t let anger drain your drive.
Don’t let anger cut you off from the world.
Don’t let anger crush your hope.
Use that anger inspire action. Let it push you to make signs and take to the streets. To support the organizations and local campaigns that make a difference. To always stand up and speak out to the cruel and unjust.
Use that anger to inspire community. Let it lead to the comfort of solidarity. Let it create more connection and understanding toward everyone else in the world, especially those with whom you disagree. In the end, those connections are what will forge the path of progress.
Use that anger to inspire optimism. Let it bring your spirit of activism to life. Even as society seems to regress towards fear and hate, let the beacon of light that leads to a better future start with you.
It’s OK to be angry, but in the end the only way to move forward in life is to do something with that anger. We grow a community through kindness. We grow kindness with hope. We grow hope through direct and sustained action.
When we waste all our time in anger, we have no room left for love, and love always wins in the end.
Originally published at www.getmindfulnow.com.