Oh, yes, mostly I agree.
Anger can be harmful or disruptive; it can even destroy your plans or image. It is a wasted emotion in a way. Anger often leads us sideways, making us lose the stable, comfortable, mainstream emotional state.
However, I’d like to talk about the brighter side of anger as I have a more sophisticated opinion.
Sometimes I think of anger as a motivational, even creative emotion. From my personal experience, I can underachieve something, or simply not perform well enough in order to achieve something. I can even lose in a way, not meeting my goal.
And then here it comes. Anger!
It sometimes works for me as a true motivator, an emotion that brings me down first. You have a feeling of devastation. But this is necessary because you have to let it go. Without expressing anger when you feel it, various negatives, just like sediments on the sea bottom, start to collect deep in our souls, resulting in stress and, as I truly believe, potentially leading to a threat of cancer, or other grand psychophysiological malfunctions. Just let your negative side come out! Then, there’s a creative side popping up. I feel like I need to rectify things, repair the whole thing. And come back stronger.
An example of this transformation is an episode from my marathon preparation experience back in 2015 when I was getting ready for my second 42K run.
My training plan included two so-called ‘long runs’, both 30K, to be done four and three weeks before Day X. I was running my first ‘long run’ in the green Izmaylovo park in Moscow, almost a routine, familiar trek. I was slowly working out my run but didn’t feel energetic all the way. Eventually, when I’d crossed the 27th kilometer mark according to Runkeeper, I just ran out of fuel, and stopped, three thousand meters short.
I felt shocked, and exhausted, and I felt… yes, anger. I didn’t perform and didn’t run my task, a milestone in the run plan.
The next Saturday, I repeated this distance and completed the 30K as planned. Three weeks later I went to S-Pete and run the flat streets of Russia’s Northern capital to beat my first marathon time from a year before.
It was my dissatisfaction and anger that lead me to success, that is, to overcome the previous result. You feel discouraged at the moment and burst out. However, always think of a brighter side of anger.
Is Anger a Wasted Emotion?
In my country now, anger has enveloped politics and created a caustic environment that may yet bring the destruction of the Republic. It’s an anger that’s driven by a small group of billionaires who profit handsomely. Off the top of my head, these billionaires who profit from anger have names like Zuckerberg, Trump, and Murdoch. I’m sure you can add more names to that.
As I write this, the FBI has raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Estate looking for classified documents. The fundraising newsletter was out less than twenty-four hours later. Mr. Trump will make several million Dollars off this by whipping up anger.
Most politicians use anger as a weapon to win elections. Boris Johnson used Immigration to make himself PM and Putin used bombing elementary schools in Donbas to justify war. No matter the country, truth is not a requirement if you want to win – at anything.
In the US, the father of using Anger to whip-up the masses is a man named Karl Rove. See, Rove was the man in charge of getting George W. Bush re-elected President. He figured out, correctly, that if the Evangelicals could be whipped into anger, W would win. So, he was the one who came up with the idea of using “hot button” issues to drive people to vote.
Karl Rove is the one who created the monster that threatens democracies around the world. Now, years later, it seems Karl doesn’t much like the anger monster he built. He is anti-Trump and thinks his party is out of control. And he’s right.
So, is anger a wasted emotion? Not if you ask the powerful. It’s the best tool they have to keep themselves rich and in charge. But what about folks like you and me? I think that if you and I were able to rid ourselves of anger, Governments would fall and the entire world would change for the better.
To be clear, it’s not that I think anger is a wasted emotion, of course it’s not. But when we allow ourselves to be manipulated by letting others use our anger to control us, we lose. Gay Marriage is a perfect example; politicians around the world are using this hot button issue to drive a conversation and motivate the hoard to do their bidding. Do these rich people believe the anger they spew? I think in most cases not.
Is Anger a wasted emotion?
Anyone who regularly reads my blogs, (does anyone actually regularly read my blogs?), will know that if I am writing about a person or situation that I find detestable, (Putin, Johnson, Trump, Brexit) I write angry. Really angry. I can’t seem to stop myself.
Many people will tell you that if you channel your anger satisfactorily, this can end up as a great motivator. You can use anger as a pretty useful piece of information. If you’re smart.
I’m not, so if you are like me, you won’t be able to control it to your advantage. Anger can adversely interfere in your life, make you reactionary and cause you to act in ways you regret later. Like an angry tweet when you’ve had one too many the night before. You wake up the next morning dreading to find out what kind of chaos you have caused on Twitter.
Many years ago, Mrs B and I were travelling on the Paris Metro, with her collapsible wheelchair a few metres away from us by the door of the carriage. She noticed my mouth moving in silent but fervent animation, and asked me what was going on. I told her I was having a go at that shifty-looking bastard sat close by, who was going to steal the wheelchair. So, there was I, getting angry about something that hadn’t happened, and in all probability, never would. And you think you’ve got problems!
On another occasion, I was leaving Birmingham New Street railway station, arguably the worst in the world. Dark, damp and dismal, and that’s its good points. I was using a very long underground corridor, and failed to notice that I was the sole human being there, in what is always a very busy place. I arrived at the glass door exit, and it was locked. I’ve just walked about a kilometre, and would have to walk back, channel my frustration and anger, and find another exit.
No, not me. I guided all my pent-up feelings into my right foot, gave the door an almighty hard kick, and saw the glass shatter into a thousand shards from top to bottom. I spent the next 24 hours in central Birmingham, studiously avoiding all the CCTV cameras, wearing a hoody and keeping my head bowed.
Wasted emotion? Totally and utterly; I have a bunch of experiences from which I have spectacularly failed to learn a single thing.