Anger and Action in the Face of Injustice

We are angry. With good reason, we are upset and hurt and angry.

Anger can be an appropriate response to violence, to injustice, and to those peddling fear and bad information. Some people will tell you that anger is a negative emotion, but I don’t believe that. Anger is not bad. It is how we use the energy of our anger that matters.

Anger can help drive us; help us do big things. We have to choose what kinds of things anger will motivate us to do; the world needs people who refuse to accept injustice and who will not acclimate to oppression. We need to be angry about such things. We need to act against them. How will we respond to our anger?

Do we blame and act out, or seek to understand the root cause of the thing? Do we let ourselves retreat into spaces filled with those who share our anger, or are we inspired to go out and change things for the better? Do we let our anger motivate us to positive action or just let it fester into fear? We can either be moved by our anger, or we can let it eat at our hearts.

There are things that must evoke our anger to show we care. It is what we do with that anger. If we direct that energy we can use it positively.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu

We can be angry and still act thoughtfully and with compassion. We pause, reflect, and commit to being our best selves, focusing on bringing people together. That is how we turn anger into positive action.

I am angry, and I am sure many of you are as well. That’s Ok. Don’t deny that feeling, but also refuse to let it distract you. As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr told us, “Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

There is enough hate in the world, friends. Let us be angry, but let us be gentle and loving in our response.

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