Good Humor Needs Anger
Going Postal is a catch phrase popularized in the last few decades. In everyday usage it often connotes humour, but the phrase stems from very tragic events.
In at least 20 separate incidence between the years 1986 and 1997, 40 individuals were gunned down in various post office locations by people who worked at the post office or had worked there in the past. Hence the term Going Postal.
The one thing all the perpetrators had in common was anger. In each case the anger had been boiling under the surface and eventually erupted in murderous rage, otherwise known as workplace rage. Consequently, anger is thought of only in bad terms. It gets a bad wrap.
Ridding society of anger, however, is not the solution. Anger has actually served many useful purposes.
It is because people became angry that:
- Slavery was ended
- Women were allowed to vote
- Workers wages were made livable
- Divorce laws were made more humane
- Rhinos could be protected
- Nature could be preserved
These milestones represent great progress in the development of human culture. Anger was a motivating force behind each. That means anger isn’t a bad thing and the Bible agrees.
Be angry, and sin not: don’t let the sun go down upon your wrath. (Ephesians 4:26)
Marriage illustrates this well. According to Hannah Fry, good marriages are the ones in which the partners have a low threshold for negativity. That is, rather than let small irritations go, strong marriages are those in which the partners mention them immediately. Marriages in which partners ignore irritations are the ones vulnerable to spiralling into a divorce rage.
Since small irritations, though harmless in the moment, have the potential to spiral into death-grip rage we need to talk about anger. [Read more…]