Over the next few weeks, my blog entries will consider anger—in our society and in our lives. This is an important matter important for older adults: We may be caught up in this growing phenomenon, and we may be able to counteract its effects.
This matter has been on my mind and heart for decades, ever since I learned how perpetual anger gradually destroys minds and bodies. In the past several years, anger has been weaponized by some political and cultural leaders as a way of holding power in our society. Their continuing stoking of anger—on broadcast and social media platforms—has become a societal problem: Anger addiction that spills over into almost every corner of our nation. These anger merchants have also created a monster: A cohort of angry people who feed on grievance and provocation, and whose numbers demand the attention of politicians, businesses and government.
Older adults may be among the redemptive influences that diminish anger. We’ve lived through wars, personal tragedies and broken relationships. We’ve learned how to deal with anger constructively, and we’ve seen how the power of love can bring healing to our own and others’ lives. We’ve come to wisdom through experience.
In these times, we may be among the most effective leaders in deflecting and defeating anger. People listen to us, believe us, trust that we care about them and therefore might accept our counsel.
The series includes entries that describe anger, God’s loving nature, anger addiction and anger-reduction. Although I will write dispassionately, this subject is an emotionally charged matter for me—a cancer I hope we can eliminate from our national identity.
I hope my writing can be helpful for you.
P.S. Thanks to The Rev. Dr. Gary Peluso-Verdend, Executive Director of Phillips Theological Seminary’s Center for Religion in Public Life, for encouraging conversations and our shared search for understanding of this phenomenon.