Anger. Righteous indignation. Out-and-out fury. Burning rage. Simmering resentment. As humans we have all felt angry at one time or another. While you can take anger too far it can also be a healthy thing. It can show you where your passions lie. It can help you fight through a situation. The trick, however, is to let it go.
I read a lot of blogs, news items, and books on environment, toxicity, and such topics. And since I started doing that last year, I have frequently found myself getting angry at the things I read. The inhumanity of man to his fellow man. The people who refuse to believe proof before their eyes because it is more profitable to ignore it. The blatant disregard for each other and the world around us. Frankly, it’s more than I can stand sometimes, and I just have to turn my back and “take a deep breath”, as it were. Action can certainly temper my feelings, but cannot truly abate them.
I try to disseminate information as I find it, via my twitter feed, or this blog. The problem with writing blog posts about the information that angers me is maintaining my objectivity. I’ve written several posts over the past few months that haven’t made it past draft, because when I read them i realize how angry and negative they are, and I don’t want to be an angry, ranting person. That’s just not who I am.
A good example of this is a book I just finished, Doubt is Their Product. It’s a fantastic book. It is a historical perspective on many of the facts surrounding industries and their usage of product defense over the past century to delay or remove regulation that could save the lives of workers, Americans, and the environment, and the politicization of science within the past couple of decades. Its sources include many documents uncovered during litigation showing company officer knowledge and intent to cover up and continue manufacture of dangerous products. I highly recommend a read. However, I had to keep stopping during my read-through of the book, I just kept feeling so overwhelmed and angry at what I read. Now that I’m done and I’m trying to write up a review, I find it nearly impossible to do so objectively.
The more I learn about these subjects, the more I am angered, and somewhat disheartened. I meditate, and I work on letting go of that anger so I can concentrate on making positive outcomes from what I learn by informing people and letting them know there are better choices, by learning to do things a better way and showing people they can do them too. It’s something I need to keep working on, and I think a good lesson in life.
“If you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“Let a man overcome anger by love, let him overcome evil by good; let him overcome the greedy by liberality, the liar by truth” – Buddha
If you’ve been learning about product toxicity and other topics that make you angry, how do you overcome that anger and channel it?