The Roots of Anger

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Where anger resides, trust has been broken and values have been breached. Where fear arises, safety and stability have seemingly disappeared. And when exhaustion takes hold, the pain of endurance has set in.

Sometimes anger, fear, and exhaustion find their way into popular culture and become catalysts for change, shaping a cause much greater than ourselves. While we feel each of these emotions individually, it’s within our collective ability to overcome this pain that makes us progressively more human. No matter what the movement that incites masses to action, the pain that it stems from, is something that we must endure and get through together.

Oftentimes this level of unrest comes from protracted fear and exhaustion that’s elevated by the anger of a moment. But to understand anger means to know that its roots can be complex and tangled. The roots of anger are complicated and can sometimes grow out of emotions that were once marked with hope. Anger can sometimes come from the compassion felt for another, or even redirect our beliefs after seeing someone we identify with, in a place of hurt or anguish. In this way, anger is our minds’ way of moving us to action. It’s a fight response to stand up for what we believe in. To harness the energy of a moment and to express ourselves to address a wrong. However, what we choose to do with anger, and how we react to it, is often what defines us in moments of provocation.

In the recent Simon Sinek Podcast “A Bit of Optimism,” he interviews Curtis Martin about the effects of anger. Martin, an unlikely NFL prodigy and hall of fame athlete, has experienced first-hand the effects that adversity and anger have on personal courage. This episode is all about how we’re able to overcome pain and harness the energy of emotions for positive and lasting change.

Take some time this week to address anger. Whether it’s within you, or within others, it’s an emotion that’s trending upward and needs to be harnessed appropriately. What role does anger play in your life? Do you embrace it and harness it into a positive change? Or, do you allow it to consume you and take you to the point of fear, or exhaustion? Finally, how effective are you at helping others cope with their anger and turn it into a productive action that brings change for others?

“The pain that we go through isn’t just for us. If we can keep our eyes focused on the greater good that comes out of that pain—it will give us the motivation to endure.”

– Curtis Martin

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