There is one character trait that gets in the way of civil discourse more than any others and the culprit is anger. Anger is an emotion that detracts from situations in which we as a society attempt to have discourse with each other concerning the status of our society. We tend to get angry when someone does not understand our view point that we are trying to share with them or when someone confronts us because of certain ideals that we uphold. I am reminded of this because of an incident that occurred last week at a Whataburger.
Three teenagers were eating their meal at the restaurant when a random man came and yelled some choice words at them, splashed a drink on one of them, and the off with the boy’s Trump hat that he was wearing. The anger that was within the man was astounding as he was triggered so badly just by seeing someone wear a “Make America Great Again” hat. To some that hat represents the country rebounding from eight years of attempted liberal takeover and to others it represents a racist, sexist, and bigoted presidential administration and anyone that sports that hat is aligning characterizing themselves as the same.
The situation could have been so different if the stranger to the boys would have been able to go and control his anger and just walk away or simply try to have a civil discourse with them over their differences. The latter seems like an event that would take place in a fairy tale land, but here’s to hoping. There is anger expressed all over the comment sections of the internet, family homes, and workplaces. Anger is an emotion that blinds our instincts and blocks our ability to rationalize and to see present situations more clearly. It takes over in the moment and the resulting actions are never favorable and often lead to regret.
Is it possible to control this anger? Is it possible to not “hulk” out and to seek to actively express love and seek understanding when talking politics? I for one believe it to be possible. Many of the mainstream media such as Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC have made it seem the norm when it comes to becoming angry and divisive. There are guest panels on these networks daily that attempt to raise their voices above each other to try and make their points heard. In anger they are not heard and the shouting matches that ensue are beyond unproductive. People take to the streets to try to raise their voices above the others and when that does not work they go to violence. We need to all check ourselves and when anger starts to boil up over let’s take a step back and really observe the situations. Express love and it will be contagious and others will catch it.