The futility of anger..

So, I listened to Barack Obama’s responses to his pastor’s comments – at

At first, I was dissapointed with Obama for having condemned his pastor for having made such statements, since I feel that a lot of them have more than a grain of truth behind them. Then I came to realize what Obama was condemning. It’s not that he was saying that these things aren’t true – just that he was saying that getting angry about them, and making angry and inciting remarks, is pointless.

I suppose you could say that anger is a motivating force, and that as such, getting angry about the many things that suck in the universe is a good thing, because it leads to us making them suck less. However, it’s also true that getting angry and then giving up any hope on the situation getting any better is futile and a waste.

Anger is such a negative emotion – it leads to us doing all sorts of irrational things. Turned outward, it starts wars between entities. Turned inwards, it slowly destroys us, especially if the thing we’re angry over is something that we’re not in a position to change.

For a long time, I tried very hard to never feel anger over anything. Like jealousy, I thought that it was a mistake, a problem that resulted from designing a species using mostly evolutionary techniques, and that it could have nothing but bad effects. Then for a while, at the advice of some various professionals, I embraced my anger, and accepted feeling it as part of the human experience.

Ultimately, however, I think what I want is the ability to feel anger selectively. To feel anger when feeling anger will help motivate me to protect myself or to make the world suck less in general, and to not feel anger when feeling anger will make me feel hopeless, and unempowered, and bitter.

I feel as though I am a slave to my emotions in general, and I would prefer to be the master.

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