Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I've been thinking a lot the past few days about anger. It means something different to different people, people express it in totally unique ways and have varying definitions and parameters for it.

Anger scares and upsets me. I heard someone say once that anger is nothing more than an outward expression of inner fear. So if you are angry, before you react, think first about what you're afraid of.

The problem is, of course, that no one takes time to think when they're angry. Not enough time anyway. I've heard people say before that they can control their anger, but that control really only goes so far. People make no sense when they're angry. It's amusing to me, sometimes, when I'm fighting with someone because some of the things they say are so exaggerated they're absurd. Something this same person would laugh with me at if their anger wasn't distracting them from thinking clearly.

Usually, for me, I spend more time with the fear and hurt part of anger than the anger part. Not that I don't get crazed and irrational myself sometimes because, really, we're all human.

I was thinking about anger. Laughing at how ridiculous it makes people, the chilling damage it can leave on relationships and the intense power it has over people and their lives. And then the Virginia Tech shooting happened.

What is most striking to me about that tragedy is the aspect that violence against women has played in recent shootings, including this one. More will come out soon, but right now, we know the shooter stalked women, hated women and took inappropriate photos of women without their knowledge or consent.

The last shooting in Colorado involved sexual assault. The Amish shooting was committed by a self-proclaimed child molester who killed little girls who had been "tempting" him.

No one will ever know or understand what prompted this recent violence. But the connection between the recent shootings should cause alarm and will hopefully open a dialogue in this country. A theory many have about violence against women is that it is about power and control. People who feel powerless want to exhibit power over others. Which, really, is at the core of mass murders as well.

So much fear. So much anger. I pray we can all channel this recent fear and anger into productive action that will bring about peace.


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