Misplaced Rage

 

The air is filled with outrage, hostility and frustration for most Americans right now. Inflation is devastating family budgets. Pregnant women are dying in Ukraine. Russian soldiers don’t even know why they are fighting this war. Joe Biden blames Russia for just about everything. And now someone has tossed the threat of nuclear war into the mix.

And all we can do is watch the horror show.

Many of us feel called to do something. To stop the madness. To find a way to make sense of any of it. To save someone, anyone, from this pain and suffering. And when we realize we can do very little, except vent our anger, we have to remember one very important fact:

We are not the enemy.

As emotions ramp up, the temptation to lash out, to punish others through our words, to find the “idiocy” in someone else’s argument will increase. Someone must pay. Someone, besides ourselves, must go through the same struggle that we are experiencing.

But it helps to stop, take a deep breath and remember: we are all, in one way or another on the same side.

We are Americans. We are human beings.

We all hate the chaos and misery. We hate the greed, violence, and death. And we can be together and try to help each other somehow deal with what is in front of us. But we can’t unconsciously try to destroy each other in the process.

I don’t have a simple resolution for wanting to lash out. I do know that I have many friends on this site, and even those who are not friends are not my enemies. If I try to damage or destroy relationships, ultimately I will be doing the one thing I don’t want to do: cause more misery for others and for myself.

So I’m going to try to remember that I must pay attention to what is going on and how I’m reacting to world events or crises in our own country. I must commit not to add further to the pain and misery and destruction.

You are, after all, my friends.

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  1. WiesbadenJake Coolidge
    WiesbadenJake
    @WiesbadenJake

    Our culture desperately needs people (leaders especially) who can be shock absorbers. Deescalating anger and frustration in others requires sacrifice on the part of those I would refer to as peacemakers. A tough calling; takes less energy to reflect and pass on the emotional violence so prevalent in our societal discourse. Thanks, as always, Susan!

    • #1
  2. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    There is a balance that needs to be made between “G-d’s in charge, and things will be as He ordains” and “I must do something!” The former can be a great source of comfort and peace in chaotic times. The latter can be a source of anxiety and despair. The key, I suspect, is to do what you can do within your sphere of influence and accept that you do not have control beyond that. Our strongest, and most legitimate, rage is against ourselves for what we could have done or not done and the consequences of our action/inaction. Raging against fate and things out of our control is futile. All rage that cannot be converted to disciplined action is solely harmful.  When feeling the urge to rage against that which cannot be controlled, that is the time to leave it with G-d and accept peace.

    • #2
  3. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    Yes…I notice that even on sites where conversation threads have been notaby civil, people are snarling at each other.

     

    • #3
  4. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    We are the enemy.  This very much caused by the election of Joe Biden and his administration.  Anybody that is complaining about this need to understand this and that if they voted for Biden then they share that responsibility and will have to answer to God and to history for it.   They voted for it,  need to own it and stop whining about it.   Now all we can do is watch the results of their vote.  

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    WiesbadenJake (View Comment):
    A tough calling; takes less energy to reflect and pass on the emotional violence so prevalent in our societal discourse.

    Thank you, Jake. There is also a kind of release when we can vent our rage; we temporarily have a sense of power and victory. But generally it’s short-lived.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    There is a balance that needs to be made between “G-d’s in charge, and things will be as He ordains” and “I must do something!” The former can be a great source of comfort and peace in chaotic times. The latter can be a source of anxiety and despair. The key, I suspect, is to do what you can do within your sphere of influence and accept that you do not have control beyond that. Our strongest, and most legitimate, rage is against ourselves for what we could have done or not done and the consequences of our action/inaction. Raging against fate and things out of our control is futile. All rage that cannot be converted to disciplined action is solely harmful. When feeling the urge to rage against that which cannot be controlled, that is the time to leave it with G-d and accept peace.

    Beautifully said, Rodin. When we are in the midst of these moments, it’s so hard to make these kind of rational decisions. But if we care about each other, we must.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    This post makes me sad. It signals the end of our outrage over Putin’s February 24 attack on Ukraine and marks its transformation into just another world event that causes generalized anger.

    We had a moment to act, to stop Putin, and the world let it go because it could not stay focused on one simple moral principle that civilized countries can agree on: one country cannot invade another unless that country is an active threat.

    Now we watch the war as we watch the Super Bowl, take sides and grumble, and let it play out in front of us. The war has become a way of life we have adapted to.

    So much suffering could have been prevented if we had responded to Putin in unison, with a strong shoulder-to-shoulder united front.

    • #7
  8. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    MarciN (View Comment):
    So much suffering could have been prevented if we had responded to Putin in unison, with a strong shoulder-to-shoulder united front.

    Preventing this attack would have required two things:

    1. US credibility, which was seriously undercut by Biden’s poorly-handled Afghanistan withdrawl
    2. Avoiding high dependence on Russian energy, especially on the part of Europe.  This potential strength was negated by Merkel, and has been further negated by Biden’s destructive energy policies.

    Regarding energy, see my post Deliberate Disempowerment.

    • #8
  9. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    MarciN (View Comment):
    We had a moment to act, to stop Putin, and the world let it go because it could not stay focused on one simple moral principle that civilized countries can agree on: one country cannot invade another unless that country is an active threat.

    I so agree, Marci. It’s like watching the newsreels of old. To keep our sanity now, we have to try to distance ourselves. The moment for action and engagement, for now, are past.

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    We had a moment to act, to stop Putin, and the world let it go because it could not stay focused on one simple moral principle that civilized countries can agree on: one country cannot invade another unless that country is an active threat.

    I so agree, Marci. It’s like watching the newsreels of old. To keep our sanity now, we have to try to distance ourselves. The moment for action and engagement, for now, are past.

    The moment(s) to stop Putin was November 3, 2020 – January 6, 2021. Not assigning blame, just noting that a lot of things have happened due to that inflection point that would not have happened otherwise. Different things would happened; hard to say whether an America where the out of power cripple President Trump would be worse than what we have and will experience. 

    • #10
  11. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    The world is full of evil and it’s the evil one who revels in it. He wants war, anger, hate, violence, gossip, slander. It doesn’t matter who those things are directed at, all the enemy cares about is that you’re not walking in love and not listening to the voice of God.

    We need to turn off Fox news (or any news), pray, get on our knees and ask for discernment. If these are the last days – and it’s sure looking that way – then it’s going to get worse.

    • #11
  12. genferei Member
    genferei
    @genferei

    Susan Quinn: And all we can do is watch the horror show.

    Or not. We can choose not to watch it. I mean, what is the point? It’s just wallowing in others’ misery at this stage. I’m not suggesting we ignore what has happened. But why indulge in rubbernecking? What is the moral imperative to consume the ‘news’ coverage?

    • #12
  13. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine first struck me as completely senseless, then I began reading commentators and comments attempting to see the war “from Putin’s point of view,” which I think is pointless.

    Putin attacked Ukraine because he could. I expect to be reading any day now of China making a hostile move against Taiwan.

    I believe that both Russia and China see an opportunity delivered to them by our 2020 election. They realize, as was demonstrated by our shameful abandonment of Afghanistan, that the United States is currently adrift on the international scene (as well as domestically). Our allies recognize that we are an unreliable partner and our adversaries see that there is an unprecedented lack of wisdom and resolve in our national leadership.

    It’s going to be a very rocky next two years at home and abroad. I pray we make it through without another major conflagration.

    Perhaps the first thing we should to in attempting to restore some respectability on the international stage would be to confine vice president Harris to our own borders. Every time she makes a public appearance, she adds to our national embarrassment. Doltish is too kind a word for her performances.

    • #13
  14. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Remember, over the past two years we (predominantly English-speaking countries and Western Europe — nominal democracies) have been in forced isolation, diffuse roulette wheel fears of death, leading to a diffuse non-specific anxiety, been given a target of these fears (Trump, covid, vaccines, and now nuclear war) and we’ve been manipulated to turning with ire, condescension, and even hatred on those who resist this fearfulness.

    Also, we’ve been subjected to such things as firings, restrictions of medical care, interruptions of food and basic goods stoking fears, debanking and loss of being able to buy or sell, to the extent that cancelling and death wishes are visited by the fearful upon those who intellectually and emotionally resist.

    This is not how we have to be.  We do not have to play this game.  We should resist falling into their psychological trap.  Love your enemies.  Fear not him who can only kill the body.

    • #14
  15. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Flicker (View Comment):
    This is not how we have to be.  We do not have to play this game.  We should resist falling into their psychological trap.  Love your enemies.  Fear not him who can only kill the body.

    I so agree, Flicker. They have been working for years to create disharmony, upheaval and confusion. We must find a way to heal ourselves and help each other. We must be resolute.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):
    It’s going to be a very rocky next two years at home and abroad. I pray we make it through without another major conflagration.

    So do I, Jim. We have to stand strong and help each other.

    • #16
  17. JoshuaFinch Coolidge
    JoshuaFinch
    @JoshuaFinch

    Cheer up, Susan. Purim arrives tomorrow night. It’s about reality changing in the twinkling of an eye. It’s about knowing that we are not in control, that God is always pulling the strings. Happy Purim.

    On the way to Jerusalem, our home.

     

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JoshuaFinch (View Comment):

    Cheer up, Susan. Purim arrives tomorrow night. It’s about reality changing in the twinkling of an eye. It’s about knowing that we are not in control, that God is always pulling the strings. Happy Purim.

    On the way to Jerusalem, our home.

    Happy Purim, Joshua!

     

    • #18
  19. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Purim! Now there’s a holiday after my own heart.

    Take heart, Susan. Perhaps the tide is turning.

    From Ace of Spades:

    Jussie Smollett is going to jail.

    Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent.

    Michael Avenatti is going to jail.

    Donald Trump is a free man.

    CNN is being sold for parts.

    Nic Sandmann is a multimillionaire.

    Perhaps, there is hope for America yet…

    • #19
  20. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown
    @CliffordBrown

    Vince Guerra (View Comment):
    If these are the last days – and it’s sure looking that way – then it’s going to get worse.

    Prods me to get back to my draft post on Hal Lindsey, then and now.

    • #20
  21. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    Percival (View Comment):

    Purim! Now there’s a holiday after my own heart.

    Take heart, Susan. Perhaps the tide is turning.

    From Ace of Spades:

    Jussie Smollett is going to jail.

    Kyle Rittenhouse is innocent.

    Michael Avenatti is going to jail.

    Donald Trump is a free man.

    CNN is being sold for parts.

    Nic Sandmann is a multimillionaire.

    Perhaps, there is hope for America yet…

    Thanks for the reminder that there is some good news.

    • #21
  22. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine first struck me as completely senseless, then I began reading commentators and comments attempting to see the war “from Putin’s point of view,” which I think is pointless.

    Putin attacked Ukraine because he could. I expect to be reading any day now of China making a hostile move against Taiwan.

    Not to defend Putin in anyway for his unbridled, ruthless and evil attacks on the Ukrainian populace, but Joe Biden clearly provoked this  attack on Ukraine.  He repeatedly egged  on Ukraine from the beginning of his Administration to ask for NATO membership which Biden knew was an absolute Red Line he should not cross because it would provoke Putin and in fact he entire Russian  Leadership around him  into acting.  Biden purposely poked the Russian Bear repeatedly until he got his war.

    Biden wanted this war; in fact he needed this war to achieve his aims.   Since he help start this war, Biden  has not helped Ukraine hardly at all and has poured cold water on any attempts at diplomacy to bring this war to an end. His actions have made no military sense and have only incited this situation by proposing  incredibly dangerous, stupid and thoroughly unworkable ideas like hacking the Russian economy, supplying Ukraine with jets and  enforcing an unworkable no fly  zone.

    Biden has done all that because he wants a protracted war, even at the risk of starting a  nuclear war,  to  dramatically raise gas prices and to impoverish the middle and working classes along with the working poor with unbearably high inflation in food, energy and housing so they will need  to turn to government handouts and suffocating government control to bring about his cherished  Great Reset.  Just like Communism, the Great Reset needs horrible pain and suffering of the populace to make them  totally dependent on government to bring about the Totalitarian revolution Biden and pscyho friends like Klaus Schwab so desire, and that is exactly what our great Supreme Leader Joe Biden  is purposely  trying to give them.

    • #22
  23. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    genferei (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn: And all we can do is watch the horror show.

    Or not. We can choose not to watch it. I mean, what is the point? It’s just wallowing in others’ misery at this stage. I’m not suggesting we ignore what has happened. But why indulge in rubbernecking? What is the moral imperative to consume the ‘news’ coverage?

    Exactly.  I choose not to watch news about the Ukraine, the big events alone.  They are not a threat to us, the Russians are not a threat to us unless we play it so badly we precipitate something, which isn’t likely.    We have two serious problems, China and the current administration that is in their pockets.  We should concentrate on gathering and broadcasting information on what they are doing and not doing.  We can’t get them to change beside the rot is deep,  and we have to win the elections by enough to beat even the election fraud which will be gargantuan..

    • #23
  24. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Not sure this is the time to trust anyone outside the bunker except the guys delivering ammo or pizza…

    But to try to find an optimistic spin, I will opine that the crashing and burning of particular paradigms may be a good thing.  The way we govern and the new world created by interlocking jaded rich people and inervated academics and journalists may well crash.  An ascendant coalition of normals, innovators, and the brave could well make something new and better.  And it may not take very long.

    I heard a wise talk from a black minister in 1969 who reminded his audience that none of us has control over big events, that the decisions and actions of our leaders made be a problem even if well-intentioned but that no matter what, each of us has to the power to treat everyone we know, everyone we meet with respect and compassion and that is a greater power than we realize. I sometimes think that Twitter was created to take that power away from us.

     

    • #24
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    But to try to find an optimistic spin, I will opine that the crashing and burning of particular paradigms may be a good thing.  The way we govern and the new world created by interlocking jaded rich people and inervated academics and journalists may well crash.  An ascendant coalition of normals, innovators, and the brave could well make something new and better.  And it may not take very long.

    I hope you will consider writing a post on this idea, OB. It sounds fascinating and inspiring.

    • #25
  26. Taras Coolidge
    Taras
    @Taras

    Unsk (View Comment):

    The unprovoked invasion of Ukraine first struck me as completely senseless, then I began reading commentators and comments attempting to see the war “from Putin’s point of view,” which I think is pointless.

    Putin attacked Ukraine because he could. I expect to be reading any day now of China making a hostile move against Taiwan.

    Not to defend Putin in anyway for his unbridled, ruthless and evil attacks on the Ukrainian populace, but Joe Biden clearly provoked this attack on Ukraine. He repeatedly egged on Ukraine from the beginning of his Administration to ask for NATO membership which Biden knew was an absolute Red Line he should not cross because it would provoke Putin and in fact he entire Russian Leadership around him into acting. Biden purposely poked the Russian Bear repeatedly until he got his war.

    Biden wanted this war; in fact he needed this war to achieve his aims. Since he help start this war, Biden has not helped Ukraine hardly at all and has poured cold water on any attempts at diplomacy to bring this war to an end. His actions have made no military sense and have only incited this situation by proposing incredibly dangerous, stupid and thoroughly unworkable ideas like hacking the Russian economy, supplying Ukraine with jets and enforcing an unworkable no fly zone.

    Biden has done all that because he wants a protracted war, even at the risk of starting a nuclear war, to dramatically raise gas prices and to impoverish the middle and working classes along with the working poor with unbearably high inflation in food, energy and housing so they will need to turn to government handouts and suffocating government control to bring about his cherished Great Reset. Just like Communism, the Great Reset needs horrible pain and suffering of the populace to make them totally dependent on government to bring about the Totalitarian revolution Biden and pscyho friends like Klaus Schwab so desire, and that is exactly what our great Supreme Leader Joe Biden is purposely trying to give them.

    Joe Biden, Doddering Old Fool, is just an act?  He’s really a diabolical master manipulator?  He likes to have his performance unfavorably compared with Donald Trump’s?

    I get it:  this is a clever parody of conspiracist thinking, especially the variety that makes excuses for Putin, even while insisting it’s not making excuses for Putin.

    It’s a takeoff on the famous SNL skit in which Phil Hartman plays Ronald Reagan, an affable old guy in public, but a dark mastermind behind the scenes, orchestrating coverups and threatening to have Jimmy Stewart killed.

    Obviously, nobody needs to “egg on” Ukraine to want to join NATO.  They’ve been desperate to join, certainly since the rape of their country in 2014 and, I think, long before that.  The signal that Putin took as an invitation to invade was probably when Biden authorized the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, sending Russian oil to Europe while bypassing Ukraine.

    • #26
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