I get a daily email from Sojourners.net containing a verse from the Christian Bible as well as a corresponding quote from someone in today’s world. Here is one I got recently:
“My father . . . used to say, ‘I need my anger. It obliges me to take action.’ I think my father was partly right. Anger arises, naturally, to signal disturbing situations that might require action. But actions initiated in anger perpetuate suffering. The most effective actions are those conceived in the wisdom of clarity.” – Sylvia Boorstein
From what I can find I think that Sylvia Boorstein is a Jewish Buddhist who is now a practicing psychotherapists among other things. I don’t know who her father was but I expect he had deep Jewish foundations. These words have a deep philosophical meaning. There are two basic kinds of anger in the world today. One type of anger righteous anger, some call it righteous indignation. That is the type that is pointed to here.
Here is what Wikipedia says about righteous indignation
Righteous indignation is typically a reactive emotion of anger over perceived mistreatment, insult, or malice. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice. In some Christian doctrines, righteous indignation is considered the only form of anger which is not sinful, e.g., when Jesus drove the money lenders out of the temple. (Gospel of Matthew 21)
I’m sure this is the type of anger that is being discussed here. It is anger when we see actions that perpetuate suffering. There is plenty of suffering going around in the world today, even here in the U.S. There are people who are dying daily because of lack of healthcare. There are people who are very malnourished here but even more so in the rest of the world. This is something that we should all be angry about. Why are their so many of who are complacent about this situation?
Being angry without a moral compass is misplaced anger. It gets us no where! There is much misplaced anger around us today. There are those who are angry about “Obamacare”, they want to see it totally abolished. They have been told it will result in Socialism here in this country and that is a bad thing at least according to those they listen to. As mentioned in the quote above the most effective actions are those conceived in the wisdom of clarity. I pray that we all step back and seek that wisdom instead of blindly following the hate mongers among us.