It is so totally clear that there is a great deal of anger among the citizens of this country.  Our most recent events have centered on cops and their fatal actions.  Horrible.  Tragic.  The anger is a natural reaction to something like this.  Venting one’s anger is considered normal.


Anger comes in such a broad range.  Anger can come out in the sitting position of fuming while watching the news.  It can come out in jumping up and yelling at the news.  It can come in jumping up, pacing over to the TV and putting a foot through it because of the news.


Same story, three different levels of anger.  There are probably more levels than that, but let’s leave it there for now.


Are we at the same point now?  Are we all so busy getting up and putting our foot through the news that we are no longer merely venting, but rising to such a level that we are becoming self-destructive?  Just take a look… we have reactions to reactions of reactions – and that’s not healthy for the country.  Example:  A cop kills a kid, so a town burns down its own neighborhood businesses, which bring about members of a football team taking the time to demonstrate on the field which brings about local bars in that area to no longer have those special nights for that team.  How far does this go?


I would say we’re very close to that self-destruction I mentioned.  We are getting mad about everything.  Ferguson is just one of those things.  We are angry about oil pipelines and where they go.  We see red over taxes – who pays too much, who pays nothing.  We are furious over our soldiers being involved in the Middle East.  We are pissed at our celebrities fooling around and messing their spouses and their kids and their fans.  We question our government – from the least of it in our city halls and at the Federal levels where our congress and president can work with each other.  Our reactions are getting pretty hot all over the spectrum.


I submit that all of this anger is a reaction to these issues.  I define a reaction as something that happens involuntarily, like a knee jerk when the doctor hits it with his little rubber hammer.  Like a shout that we may give out when a deer runs in front of us in our car on a dark moonless night.  Reaction.  Now here’s the other word that we need to get to: response.


Response.  A response to me is a clearly thought out act – a deliberate act that required some forethought, some consideration of the short and long-range effects of the acts we may perform.  Response infers a certain level of control and responsibility.


And where does this control and responsibility come in?  If I knew that, as Klinger once said on M*A*S*H*, I’d be God.  But I do know that the answer will not come out of the level of anger we are getting to.  We eventually need a response that will allow that anger to cool and bear fruit, rather than fester and grow and become even worse.


We may hear of dozens of atrocities of all kinds as I mentioned, whether by a cop or a celebrity or a crazy guy with a gun.  But let us keep calm in this assurance – we don’t near about the times the cops do things right, the times a celebrity donates to a charitable cause – or when a citizen controls his/her anger and attempts to find a solution.


Be part of the solution folks.  Have your angry moments by all means, but ultimately, be a responder rather than a reactive person.