by Hana Beach
Anger is a taboo emotion. We judge anger in others, and try to suppress it when we feel it within ourselves. When we think about anger, we only see drivers filled with road rage and giant green monsters. However, we don’t immediately see the growth and passion that anger can represent.
Nobody likes to be angry, and everyone hates to be around people who are angry. We see anger as inappropriate, violent, and detrimental. However, it is an emotion that is so intertwined with our survival. Anger is designed to protect us, our relationships, and our views of the world. It allows us to sense when things are wrong or doubtful. As we go through life we set expectations and goals, not only for ourselves, but also for those around us. We want people to respect others when they talk and say things that show a certain degree of tolerance, so when people break our expectations and goals, we get angry.
Metaphorically, anger is your policeman. It tells you when injustices have been committed. It reminds you of social norms, and often polices those around you. When it comes at the right time, it is able to control the situation. But if that internal policeman is rash and impulsive, he does more harm than good.
I understand that when anger is random and motivated by rage it is violent. But as Aristotle stated, “The man who is angry at the right things and with the right people, and further, as he ought, when he ought, and as long as he ought, is praised.” Anger represents growth, change, and a desire for improvement. It is passion and conviction. Anger is not something to shy away from, it is something to accept.
When anger is isolated and random, it is aggressive and terrifying, but without anger our society would be full of passive citizens. Anger allows us to set goals and norms for the world. It keeps us accountable for our actions. Yes, I agree that when anger is dealt with in inappropriate ways or not at all, it is detrimental and counterproductive. But there is no better motivator than anger to kick us into action and force us to stand by our values.