Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One Angry Man

I’m not 12 angry men, deciding on the life of a young boy. I’m one angry man, deciding on the fate of my own life; making decisions that sometimes take me off the highway and send me down the garden path. It’s easy to get angry about all the injustices across the globe and down the street. These days activism is just a click away, but that is a useless anger, like a candle that doesn’t illuminate. Anger at something for which someone has no control is useless, and a waste of precious human energy.

So far, I haven’t learned to temper my anger, turning swords into plowshares, as they say. Will it really matter to anyone except me if I try to explain my anger? Anger burns energy. (“Anger is an energy” – John Lydon.) If it’s not helpful in anyway, then it’s a waste of energy and resources. Energy that could be better spent loving others, and oneself. Nothing wrong with a little self-love. In fact, self-love is vital and necessary.

Anger seems to be a particularly masculine trait, like male pattern baldness. Let’s face it, it’s always been the men, who have raped and pillaged throughout history. Men are the warmongers and the wife beaters. They are the “rageaholics,” who must undergo anger management classes, which infers that you’re going to get angry, but you just need to learn to manage it -- cage the lion, so to speak.

More than 30,000 heart attacks each year are triggered by momentary anger, according to a 2004 Harvard study. Similar studies have shown that angry men are three times more likely to develop premature cardiovascular disease, six times more likely to have an early heart attack, and three times more likely to have a stroke. Not to mention ulcers, headaches, and other stress related maladies.

I never have to hear the words “Don’t forget your angry eyes” from my wife, as I leave for work. Of course, at work I wear my customer service face, and my angry eyes don’t really go well with that look. Nobody likes a cranky camper. The happy camper doesn’t let his fire get out of control. Fanning the flames of anger can burn bridges, families and friends. Anger is a downright incendiary emotion, harking back to early and primitive fight or flight predicaments.

I’ve always been one of those people, who keep my feelings inside, so it’s not too surprising that I spontaneously combust on occasion. I’ve worked hard during my life, and I’ve made choices that seemed sensible at the moment. As Needlenose Ned says on the topic of life, it's all one big crapshoot anyhoo. The dice just haven’t rolled in my favor. All I can do is work on improving my odds and turn my anger into art.

"Anger is an Energy!"

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