by Alex King
Is anger your ally or adversary? Commonly, the immediate response is to think that anger is bad. Before we become steadfast in this opinion, however, another question must follow. Is our opinion a conditioned response, or do we honestly believe anger to be bad?
Anger is a potentiality, like uranium. It has dangers inherent in its nature, but only if it is mishandled. With the right precautions, it becomes bottled energy. Just as uranium can be used to spin turbines in a nuclear power plant, so too can anger be used to motivate an individual to succeed, to excel.
The misconception about anger arises because of events that burn themselves into our minds, the same way a nuclear explosion burns the land it touches. Our emotional perception of these events would cause us to label anger as “bad”. Then again, the misuse of anything can be bad. Uncommon though it may be, consider you were unfortunate enough to watch as someone was stabbed to death with a pencil. Because I use a pencil to write my drafts, would that then make my posts bad? Would I be bad for using this pencil? If it had a terrible enough impact on you, the mere possession of a pencil, in your eyes, could become akin to the intent to murder.
More often than not, it is conditioning that sets for us “acceptable parameters” within which the healthy mind must function. Take a quick moment and consider: what would happen if you erased these parameters, these preconceived notions of ethics and the functionality of the world, and rebuilt your thinking based only on logical possibility?
Once, I was introduced to the concept of ethics devoid of a strict good or bad determination. Instead, I was challenged to explain why I thought, given some arbitrary event, a person would be more or less well off because of the event. I’ve come to believe this to be a more ethical approach to ethics. Avoiding an absolute bias maintains the mindset that some uncertainty exists in any though flow, no matter how well founded. Recall that, not so long ago, the world was flat.
Having played the devil’s advocate, I’ll leave off with a minor concession. Ignoring all other aspects of life, I believe myself to be less well off because of the anger. If I could endure my existence on a paradise island, I would seek complete relief from this emotion. Then again, if lights powered themselves, uranium would become worthless.
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