There are times when anger is the appropriate response to violence, to injustice, to those peddling fear and bad information. Anger is not bad. It is how we use the energy of our anger that matters.
Our anger can help drive us to do big things, but we have to choose what kinds of things we will allow ourselves 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 change things for the better? Do we let our anger motivate us to positive action rather than letting it fester into fear? We can either be moved by our anger, or we can let it eat at our hearts.
Do we act thoughtfully and with compassion? Do we pause to reflect on our best selves? Are we focusing on bringing people together rather than drawing more lines and pointing fingers? Do we act on our fear, or on our hope? That is how we can choose love over hate.
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.