Its always interesting when I am trying to decide what the topic should be for this blog post. Something always happens that inspires me to write about a certain topic. This week it was an email that came through from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and it was called, “Coping with the Age of Outrage on Social Media”. (Adams, 2020) I found this title intriguing and decided I would read it and then share my thoughts on it. After all isn’t the end goal to become like our Savior Jesus Christ? and how do we do that with anger in our hearts?
I absolutely loved this article. Its everything I have been thinking about in my life. Given the political climate of our day currently all I see is hate, anger, and arguments to prove who is correct. I told my mom and sister what scares me more is how polarizing the political parties are getting & the anger they display toward one another. I know that when anger gets the best of us it’s not good we are often acting out of emotion vs. our rational thinking and sound mind.
Part of this article that I loved was the following 3 points she makes:
1. Anger Chases Away the Spirit – and Reason
2. Anger Leads to Poor Choices
3. Anger Can Keep us From Growth
These 3 points in of themselves are 100% true. Lets start with number one: Anger chases away the spirit and reason. I already mentioned this earlier. When we become angry we are not thinking correctly and we are not in our sound mind which causes us to react differently than we would. Think of a time this has happened to you. For example, someone cuts you off in traffic. The first thing you do is what? Yell? Honk your horn? Give them the bird? Those are all responses that cause you to loose the spirit and your reasonable mind. If you had been in your reasonable mind you might have understood that the person who cut you off is learning how to drive, on their way to a hospital, or is needed to get to someone in need. It takes practice to let it go but I will tell you a great phrase my husband says when this happens or anger arises he says, “I forgive you!” and then keeps driving.
Secondly, anger leads to poor choices. I feel as though this feeds off the previous thought. When we can’t reason then we can’t make a correct rational choice. Lets talk some brain chemistry real quick. When we are thinking emotionally or angry we are in our upper brain, we act off emotion. When we think rationally we are in our lower brain and we make smarter choices. With the example above, let us choose to say I forgive you rather than honking our horn, I promise it will make you feel better and allow you to feel and keep the spirit of God with you.
And lastly, Point 3: Anger can keep us from growth. Anger isn’t fun, it isn’t freeing and it’s true it keeps us from progressing. We suddenly realize our whole life becomes focused around the anger and how to fix it and make it fair. What would happen if we didn’t do that and we choose to let the anger go and leave us, we would see more clearly and love more fully. Jesus Christ is the best example of loving his enemies and forgiving those because “they know not what they do”.
If you can’t already tell, I highly recommend reading this article and it is referenced at the end with the link, so go read! I know that I am just a person writing my thoughts but I believe we can choose to let our anger go, we can choose to become more like Christ and develop empathy & charity for our neighbors around us. Anger is a choice, no one makes you mad, you choose to be mad- just remember that next time we are tempted to let anger slide in.
Thanks for reading this blog & I hope we can choose to let anger pass and develop love instead for our brothers and sisters as Christ would.
Adams, E. (2020). Coping with the Age of Outrage on Social Media. Retrieved October 30, 2020, from https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2020/10/young-adults/coping-with-the-age-of-outrage-on-social-media?lang=eng