Unless one has been living in a cave cut off from civilization, or under a self-sustainable rock cut off from the grid, it is difficult to not be cognizant of a world that is in chaos, turmoil, and upheaval. Sadly, many people are suffering hunger, homelessness, addiction, and neglect of compassion, not to mention the destruction of our planet from environmental and chemical toxins and waste management. I don’t believe there is one easy fix for any of it and there may never be an easy fix. But I do believe more of us have the capacity to alleviate some of this suffering or planetary destruction that we witness around us.
I read a quote not long ago from St. Augustine of Hippo. He is credited with having said, “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and courage to see they do not remain the way they are.” Very powerful words and a very powerful and challenging call to action.
So, if you feel a strong sense of injustice about what you see in your immediate surroundings, whether it be relating to a family member, your community, your country, or the world, consider these two emotions and how your participation can change what bothers you the most.
ANGER: Anger is an emotion that is neither good nor bad, for all emotions are pure in themselves. However what you do with that anger or how you react because of it can either be used for good or for detriment. If you are truly angry about an issue or circumstance, find a way to change the circumstance. I am not encouraging violent behavior, destruction of property or someone’s livelihood, but I DO encourage your participation and action in working towards solutions to that which angers you. Whether it’s politically based, philanthropic of your time, treasure or talent, environmentally motivated, or joining in or starting a humanitarian effort to fix what you see or feel is broken in society, let that which angers you the most guide you to working on resolution of the problems you see.
COURAGE: The word “courage” stems from its roots in Middle English, Old French and Latin and relates to “heart” (cor). It is the ability to do something from the heart even though it frightens you. Being courageous is following your heart to do the right thing, even if it causes you to be unpopular in some of your social circles, or if it involves risk. Again, I do not condone actions of courage that cause destruction, abuse, or harm but I DO encourage taking positive, healing actions that work towards fixing problems and finding solutions to injustices or planetary destruction that create anger and conflict in your spirit.
I don’t have any answers for what you personally can do or for what you personally feel needs fixing. But finding a higher cause, actively participating in the solution versus making things worse, and finding likeminded and interested individuals with the same goals, can only improve your day to day existence. Then by ripple effect, someone else’s or many others’ existence improves, which then benefits our world in which each of us must live.
With the dawn of a new year beginning, make 2017 a year of positive change because you were angry enough and courageous enough to find and participate in solutions and not contributory to the causes of the problems.
Wishing you health, a peaceful solution for your anger, courage to be the change you wish to see in the world, and living your best life.