Anger vs Moral Outrage

Strong emotions such as anger are dangerous to repress. Heart disease and cancer are the by products of such repression, among other things.

But over the years I’ve noticed that people who express their anger are control freaks and are toxic in the ways they choose to express themselves.

The afflictive emotions such as anger, jealousy, hatred envy, unwarranted pride, seething resentments are emotional red flags suggesting that the problem lies within.

“It is a spiritual axiom that when ever we are disturbed, there is something wrong with us.” Step 10 in the 12/12, an AA recovery book. Restraint of tongue and pen and cleaning the wreckage from our past are the instructions given by Bill W(ilson).

I was reminded yesterday of two resident doctors who held everyone hostage by their constant put downs and expressions of anger.

These women were sorry souls.

I complained to the administrative powers about the behavior of these women. In my opinion at the time, no one was doing them any favors by allowing them to act in ways that consistently alienated everyone in their emotionally toxic pathways.

Emotional intelligence can be taught.

But administration was afraid of these women. Nurses were afraid of them. Sometimes I gleefully fantasized telling them where to go, but knew enough to show restraint of pen and tongue.

We must learn to cultivate the antidotes to afflictive emotions as they arise. The most powerful antidote to any and all of these toxic emotions is to open the heart and allow compassion for a person–and all people everywhere, to take root and become habitual action.

And the moment we feel these emotions such as anger, a habit of giving it to the Higher Power for transformation may be one of the most powerful antidotes we can practice.

The Higher Power gives us the needed love and compassion as soon as we seek out this kind of unseen help.

We must learn to meditatively cultivate the antidotes to anger such as patience and forbearance.

If you are facing the vile behavior of another person, and you experience an open heart of compassion towards that person, you may notice at the same time that the deplorable behavior is not what is tolerated, only the person.

This distinction, transforming anger towards a person and at the same time having a powerful desire to stop the vile behavior, are two simultaneously human emotions that when practiced together, prevents a person’s patience from plummeting into an apathetic and depressive state.

In the latest political campaign, the press is attempting to write off John Edwards, Democratic Presidential hopeful, as an angry man.

John Edwards typifies the difference between anger, a purely afflictive emotion, and moral outrage.

I believe that Edwards displays what I will call compassionate wrath, a forceful kind of compassion that may look like anger to the untrained knee jerking pundits, but in reality doesn’t have the violence and destruction associated with it.

I expect a candidate to have moral outrage about the problems that face our country.

And I’d be worried if I didn’t experience moral outrage, as well.

No longer can we afford the luxury of a negative thought, nor can the world. The discipline required to work on myself is a necessity.

The alternative never was attractive and becomes less so as the days go on.

And as soon as I realize that the unseen helpers: the higher guides, angels and Higher Power are here at all times, then anger and fear and all the afflictive emotions are rendered powerless.

And freedom is the magnificent result!!