Anger: Reacting, responding & replicating

Anger is useful.

It gets you to act. Anger has often led to social advancements for the aggrieved which facilitate social cohesion.

I welcome anger in docile societies, but I welcome it with conditions.

Anger is also, unfortunately, a means to express moral superiority. “Look at what I care about!”

Equally, a way to validate group think. “Everyone is up in arms, so am I.”

The things which cause our anger, our sense of outrage, should trigger also our sense of shame.

Events don’t unfold in minutes, they fester in our midst before the crescendo.

Considering that is crucial if our anger is of the adult persuasion, and not the petulance of a child.

If we factor, the progression, the situation, our place in the social map and our continued disregard to policies, then it may increasingly take the shine of your indignity.

Shame is integral to temper our anger, to realise reacting has to be about responding, not just about living off the ability to react.

Which is why, so many just baying for blood, for the blood of murderers, blinds those with pitchforks or nooses in their hands.

Collective shame interplaying with our deep discontent will result in actions which look for outcomes for victims, their families, potential victims, potential perpetrators and all their families and communities.

We look at society, we look at ourselves.

We seek forgiveness before we demand forgiveness from strangers.

Punish with purpose and not with just revenge in our hearts.

A state must match the moral bar it sets for its citizens. It must transcend, so that its people can follow suit.

I suppose that’s what aspirational leadership means.

Justice is about getting things right, not about how vindictive we can become and boast about our reaction.

This not being weak on crime, this is about being strong in building a society. For we must not forget — now more than ever — what is more useful than anger. Love.

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