The Virtue of Anger: Using Anger for Motivation
- In the soul of every good man is an angry wild man buried deep inside. . .
Anger is arguably humanity's second most powerful emotion, behind only that of love, that doesn't receive the appreciation and understanding that it deserves. Unfortunately, anger has built a bad reputation of being an emotion of evil. This couldn't be any further from the truth. There is no such thing as good or evil emotions. Knowing when and how to release your anger by understanding the emotion of selfishness, as well as keeping your anger guarded with the help of emotions such as guilt and shame, are keys to properly learning and utilizing your anger.
Anger is an important and necessary component for human ambition and motivation. Without anger, most of us would be senseless vegetables. Anger is our natural, non-materialistic incentive, which compels us to act. Think of all the times you were motivated to act, persevere, and succeed because detractors told you, "you can't do it." New age fundamentalism would have you believe that this is confidence, a vehicle in which anger has no part. This isn't true, for without anger expressed against the individual who dismayed you, its doubtful you would ever have the fire in your belly to persevere against the many obstacles that come with diverting from a commonly chosen path. If confidence was your only goal, you would merely seek pleasantry and happiness with your detractors, there would be no need to risk disappointment or defeat by running a different path. Its anger that compels you to run, often times seemingly illogically, the other direction. This brings me to my next point, anger is necessary for human innovation.
Great scientists and innovators such as Galileo Galilei and Leonardo DaVinci came to be who they are through their expressed anger against the corrupt Vatican church. Anyone who has read their work can't deny their hidden messages satirically expressed against the Vatican. Ultimately, Galileo Galilei paid for his opposition against the Vatican with life imprisonment. To say this anger had no part in the motivation and innovation created by these men would be short-sighted. The anger led them on a quest to discover the truth. In a passionate quest to discover the truth many tools and innovations were created that we still use today. Albert Einstein's anger against the public education system was undeniably a huge motivational factor in the work that he did.
Last but not least, anger is a necessary component for justice. Justice cannot exist without anger, and anger cannot exist without justice. For in the soul of every good man is an angry wild man buried deep inside. . . Anger compels us to act against injustice in an effort to restore justice. Without anger, we would essentially become a senseless society that acts indiscriminately without much of any purpose. I would like to call this pure chaos, but without anger, we wouldn't even have the ability to perceive chaos. Chaos would essentially become natural to us. Anger doesn’t breed chaos; it’s our dismissal of anger, guilt and shame that allows chaos to spread like a wild fire.
Our anger is our compass and our guide. Our anger points us to lapses in how society is functioning. If we didn't have anger, we wouldn't be self-aware of these prevailing issues. If we're unaware, then we go in blindly, it would be impossible for any progress to be achieved without knowing where to aim. Anger is what defines human sentience and consciousness.
-Donovan D. Westhaver
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