Outrage
anger

You could make your own list. This one is just a start.

Lions and Dentists
Abortions pro and con
Benghazi
Walleyes and Lake Mille Lacs
Bernie Sanders
Donald Trump
Flat Footballs and Brady
Precious Metals mining in NE Minnesota
Cops
Guns, pro and con
Voting rights
Mass shootings
Oil drilling in Alaska
Oil Pipelines through Minnesota
Priests
… and this is just recent things in the news

Do you sense it? Outrage is out there. It is coming from all kinds of people. Old, young, rich, poor, conservative, liberal, various ethnic groups, proponents of this and that, opponents of this and that . . .

I am guilty of outrage myself. I’m guessing so are you. And so is the guy down the street and the lady in the laundromat and the banker and the butcher. And the little kid in the barber chair and the . . . well, it seems like everyone has an ax to grind.

And do you notice how in the media (whether its social media like Facebook or the journalism media members) that name calling and insults are the rule of the day? It seems rare to watch a news show where diatribes don’t get a bunch of the news.

And this outrage sometimes is directed in places you wouldn’t expect. Close, personal friends get teed off at each other. Families argue at the dinner table.

We are all angry about something or someone. Where does it come from? Why is it so rampant? Better yet, how do we tone it down?

My theory – we have developed a certain insensitivity to others. We have forgotten what it is like to actually consider that the other person is every bit as sure of their thoughts as we are of our own. We have started to think that if someone differs with us, they are a bad person. We have been conning ourselves with such thinking. Maybe this arises from our displeasure with our government’s gridlock. Maybe it comes from the ridiculousness of stories we see on the news – or what passes for news (and no, I don’t necessarily mean FOX or MSNBC . . . consider also the ‘news’ shows like ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT and TMZ.)

I think we have forgotten how to be empathic – not just sympathetic; we have lost the skill of sensing how others feel. We have forgotten how to sense what others are feeling and saying. We have diminished the value of good listening skills, of compassion, of true patience.

So look, if you catch yourself getting your neck hairs up, maybe stop a bit and take stock of your motives. Is it really all that crucial to get angry? Is there a better way to handle news you don’t like?

There is more fruit in such things as that. Let’s get rid of the weeds of the negativity and grow us some good stuff.

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