In one sense, this post is a digression on my current theme of visioning a mature society. But it also gets to the heart of the matter of how we are to get to this vision. For me, anger is the canary in the coal mine, and it has movement.
First, what a blog offers me.
In doing a blog, I am forced by its structure: It needs to be short and fairly concise, neither of which really suits my need to present depth. However, I go in a number of interesting directions.
- I give major attention to how blogs attract people, a significant learning curve for me.
- I use more lists and more subheadings — they apparently attract more attention. (Because of information overload, people seek very brief bites of information, thus very stressful and dysfunctional. Efficient, but sad!)
- I keep the posts relatively short, forcing me to be more precise. Likely a good thing.
- I use my meditation practice (approximately 40 minutes a day) as a way to reflect; thereby, I access my other-than-conscious mind, a very powerful workhorse for me.
- In having pause time between blogs, I develop very interesting (to me) side-branches to the themes I want to present.
So, why anger management?
I focused on anger management as a therapist largely because anger was so much a part of my own life. With this, I soon came to realize that anger is a part of every life issue. Thus I had the opportunity to study the whole of life.
In that sense, anger is a window to cultural issues, and is a canary in the coal mine. If you want to improve any situation, augment the positives and diminish the negatives. As applied to mine conditions, for example, you work on a) education for better conditions, and b) improving the ventilation system. But if you don’t change the ventilation, education does little good. From my perspective, if our culture does not deal long-term with the underlying anger in healthy ways, much (all?) of the positive movement is ineffective.
In addition, anger has movement; it is a push against the environment. Eventually in my therapy practice, I realized that the people who were stuck were either lazy (they wouldn’t do the work) or fearful (they were afraid of the consequences of the work) — I’m not being critical here, simply attempting to identify. So in retirement, I decided to research laziness and fearfulness as the focus of my PhD. (Eventually I subsumed laziness and fearfulness, plus self-righteousness, into the ancient word, acedia.)
There are two problems with acedia:
- there is no movement; acedia is a stuck state, and requires an existential choice by the individual that they will not stay stuck; they will move through whatever the issues are.
- acedia is the dominant factor that has lead to the issues of climate change. As a culture, we have been unwilling to do the work of choosing a world based on justice and health.
Thus, for me, anger management has been my path to health, both individually and culturally. I’ve learned much thereby, both about the negatives and the positives.
Now, back to cultural visioning (unless I develop another digression). :)))
This post is part of what I am calling the core posts for understanding what I am attempting by this blog. For other core posts, click here.