There is a powerful disease running rampant in the world these days. Oh, you think I am talking about the coronavirus right? Maybe another time, but my focus here isn’t on that. It’s on human emotions and the biggest one running wild right now is rage.
Sad to say, but it is not love.
It is increasingly difficult to watch television, see social media posts, and so much more without feeling not just anger but animalistic rage. Rage against human behavior. Rage against organizations. Rage against the lack of love and compassion for other people. Rage against injustices…and the list goes on and on.
That’s why I consider this time “The Age of Rage.”
I feel it. It is something that overwhelms people so much that they lose their soul to rage. Men have rage issues. Fess up, dudes. They come out in ways that are not pretty. Physical violence, emotional sabotage, words, putdowns, and too many overt and covert ways to count. Believe me, there is a part of myself that can go off the rage cliff at times.
I will say that rage toward myself becomes the thing that trips me up. I’ll get rageful and angry about my thoughts, actions, behaviors, lack of focus, and not following through on my personal promises to myself and others. I will call myself names that I honestly would not call another human being. It is rage. It is not anger; that’s in a zone by itself.
Rage just becomes this all-consuming fire and, unless it is kept in check, will kill you, brother. It will take away your mind, heart, soul, and spirit. By definition, rage is “violent and uncontrolled anger.”
Are there good reasons to be rageful? You have to answer that question yourself. For many people, they look around and see so many wrongs happening against people and it drives them to extremes. Making a point goes beyond having a firm conversation. It involves violence of all types…the worst of which is seeing men and women killed for no reason.
If you are looking for empathy in the midst of rage-filled men, then good luck. It’s not going to show up. It actually would call on a man holding another man accountable for his actions, yet all you have to do is look and see people getting away with murder (literally and figuratively) without a shred of empathy involved.
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With rage being the focus, I want to present three questions for all men and, yes, women to ponder.
Is it healthy for you?
Rage affects your body. Your stress levels are out of sorts. You cannot think straight and the angrier and madder you get about something, it’s going to hurt you.
How so, you ask? OK, if all you do is go around being filled with rage and showing that side of yourself to family, friends, co-workers, and strangers, then they are going to start distancing themselves from you. Is that what you really want? You are going to scare the hell out of them.
According to an article in “Psychology Today” by Louise B. Miller, Ph.D., “Anger creates energy surges, and when energy surges occur, chemicals such as adrenaline enter your bloodstream, your heart rate increases, your blood flow increases, and your muscles tense. Losing your temper affects your cardiac health. It can shorten your life when it is sustained.
Anger also compromises your immune system. Everyone gets angry sometimes; handling anger well, though, can help you stay healthy.”
Now take all of that information and up the ante a notch or two. Rage takes anger to another level. If you think anger is unhealthy, then believe it when I say that rage is not a walk in the park. Your body will suffer a lot of consequences from having ongoing rage issues.
Is it worth it to you?
Getting angry is something that happens to all of us. When it hits the rage level, though, it takes on a whole new look. A person has to take a big step back and ask, in a moment of sanity, if spewing so much rage is worth it.
I mean, if you are raging on people all the time and believe you are making a difference in the world, then you need to get some help. What you put out emotionally and energetically will come back and bite you in the butt.
Who are you listening to when it comes to getting overly angry? Your “close friends” or your family. Your “personal agenda” or your calmer, sane mind. I believe if you actually do take a chance and step back from your own ideas, then you will find out that all the rage in the world is not worth sharing at all.
Is it paying off for you?
Um, let me just help you out with this question. It’s not paying off for you at all. Rage never pays off in a positive way. All you are going to be doing is alienating people and finding yourself on the wrong end of arguments.
Rage never pays off in a positive way. Do you really like being around someone who is totally raging against anyone and everything all the time? It would wear me out. There have been times in my life with family members that their anger and borderline rage would send me to find a safe place to hide…like my own room at my childhood home behind a closed door.
I bet there are a lot of people who have trouble interacting with other people because they, too, have been recipients of others’ rage. Again, I’m going to tell you that rage will never, ever pay off for you. It might give you a moment of feeling superior…a moment, OK, but nothing that lasts for a long, long time.
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Now, this column doesn’t totally cover the full realm of how much rage has taken hold of society. My hope, though, is that you will take a close look at what you can do to tamper down the rage within yourself.
It takes a whole lot of inner work to truly remember to take a deep breath and not let the rage become your go-to emotional response.
“The Age of Rage” is not something to be proud of at all. You and I have a responsibility to be calmer and rational in our lives, both publicly and privately. We have to do better than this all across the board.
Let’s make a commitment to do so, starting today.
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Photo Credit: @alessandro_bellone on Unsplash