What Can We Do?
NOTE: The following is from my friend, Paul McCusker, Senior Director of Content Creation at the Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology
in Denver, CO, and the world. I saw this on my Facebook feed, and I was
so struck by how Paul put so eloquently how I feel and wonder that I
asked for his permission to post this here. Enjoy! As always, you can find all of my blogs from 2013 to the present on my website at https://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/.
"I suspect that, sadly, some of us are angry because we live in a constant state of disappointment. Our dreams don’t line up with reality. Our wants are often contrary to our real needs. We resent that our actions sometimes have painful consequences. We cannot make sense of people who disagree with us because we think, if they had half a brain, they would agree with us. Our idealism, as lofty and noble as it may seem, collapses under the weight of practicalities. We struggle to maintain irreconcilable views. We are annoyed because of the fracture between how we want all people to live versus how they really live. We despise others for not fulfilling our unrealistic expectations. We want others to understand our mistakes but can't seem to forgive them for theirs - and want the iron fist of retribution to come down on them. We have accepted platitudes that cannot succeed because they do not recognize the human condition. Little wonder we are in a constant state of anger. No surprise that we scream loudly and often.
What Can We Do?
I suppose we must accept that Humanity is deeply flawed, situations are complex, what we want is not what we should always have, aspirations are not easily fulfilled, freedom comes with a cost and accomplishment requires hard work, there is no perfect form of government, our heroes are not always good or holy or pure, and our adversaries are not always evil. Yet, while we struggle to accept those difficult realities, we shouldn't give in to seething anger - which is a form of despair that we take out on others. If nothing else, relentless anger is a suicide mission that destroys the one who is relentlessly angry. Better that we count to ten slowly (sometimes to twenty or thirty) before reacting. Restraint often requires more strength than expression. Give the benefit of the doubt to others’ motives and due consideration to their point of view. Allow for a measure of grace and forgiveness. Be benevolent. And if we must fight for our cause, then do so with integrity and the well-intended purpose not to destroy but to rebuild and restore.
In the end, what other option do I have? Now all I need is for God to grant me the means to actually do what should be done."
Well done and well said, Paul.