I play this little game. When I am going on a walk, shopping, or sitting in a coffee shop, I listen to snippets of conversations. It goes something like this…
I am walking in a fairly busy area. A couple walk past me and I hear the man raging about a contractor they used. His anger comes out with, “When is he going to be done? This project was supposed to be done months ago! I have had it!”
A few more steps and a teenager passes me as she rages into her phone, “I swear I can’t stand my parents, they won’t let me do anything!”
Around the next corner a crying woman is walking with her mom, “But Mom, I loved him so much, how could he be so cruel and just leave like that?”
As I reached my car two men are standing close by in a heated argument about politics. “Are you kidding me? You are going to vote for that idiot? He is going to bury our country!”
It used to be when I played this game, I would hear fun snippets about love and life. I would string them together in a funny little scenario that ran through my mind creating a happy and hilarious story.
It seems like now everyone is angry. Everyone is raging about EVERYTHING! I see angry faces and hear raging arguments. I used to think road rage was out of control, but now I believe we are all surrounded by a fireball of Life Rage. People rage about politics, inflation, the cost of living, war and whose fault the battle is, jobs, families and the crazy weather.
People rage over simple things. The server is too slow, the food isn’t hot enough, the piece of pie is too small and the checkout line is too long.
And people don’t agree on anything. Everyone has their version of a situation or problem and their version of how it should be handled or solved. Rage is met with opposing rage and so the fireball grows and becomes hotter. Some of us try to jump away from the heat, but rage touches all of us. Even children feel it and mimic it with their friends. Do you see the children watching and learning the pattern of rage?
Becoming angry is okay when it is expressed outwardly in a thoughtful, meaningful way. A way that leads to mutual discussion and mediation. A way that sets boundaries and uses controlled emotions. When anger feeds anger and spreads to rage it is not okay. When the fireball rolls like a snowball picking up speed and growing in size it is not okay.
In the midst of the collective, red-faced, angry rage all the good in life goes unnoticed. Rage causes blindness. Blindness to the goodness of people. Blindness to the idea of working together to solve problems instead of battling against each other and creating more. Anger, rage, and fear block the possibility of respect, love, and kindness. What has switched in our world that any of us thinks this is okay?
I have faith in mankind. I believe we are made to love. I believe we are meant to be kind. I believe we have the tools to be caring and thoughtful. But I admit, my fun little game that used to be happy to play isn’t fun anymore. This contagious outbreak of Life Rage needs to stop.
You and I can only control one person at a time --the person in our mirror. Think of what you are raging about - and stop. Practice being peaceful and feel the power in your peace. Pass that peace and power to others.
Go back to gratitude. Being grateful for one small thing at a time starts the snowball rolling in the right direction. I heard a quote from Michael J. Fox this week that said, “With gratitude optimism is sustainable.” I believe this is true. I believe we need to be optimistic. I believe gratitude and optimism are contagious.
Begin now before rage takes over your life. I look forward to my little game being fun again. And now, what are YOU grateful for?
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Pennie’s Life Lesson:
Control your rage before it controls you.
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