Do we all need a prescription for chill pills?

Published 7:52 pm Wednesday, July 18, 2018

am so doggone mad at people who are always angry! I am so upset with the all the politicians who spew vitriol, I could spit! I am so frustrated at folks yelling, I could scream! So there!

If you read the above paragraph and laughed, you would be right to do so. I find myself saying those sentences too often and seeing the hypocrisy too clearly for my own comfort. We all know anger in America has reached a fever pitch and is affecting our society in ways that hurt us all.

Just this past week, a man was seen screaming at a woman in a public picnic area because she was wearing a Puerto Rico tee shirt. The news ran another video of a woman slapping a black teenager at a swimming pool in front of children. Last year, a black teenager forcibly threw a 68-year-old white woman in a pool. When folks saw these stories, their first thought was, “Wonder who or what provoked the incident?”

Meanness, bigotry and intolerance of any kind by anyone are a by-product of anger and bitterness, and it takes minimal provocation.

Last month, a man seething with anger killed five newspaper journalists because of a story published by another columnist. Hate crimes, violent crimes and mass murders are all on the rise in our country. Incidents of road rage have risen exponentially, and suicides are headlining the news. Anger and frustration are out of hand, but why?

Why are we becoming a nation of uncontrollable 2-year-olds throwing temper tantrums?

Many blame President Trump or Bernie Sanders for promoting anger in America. However, they are a product of our own hostility, and, truth be told, no matter if you are a liberal or a conservative, it was our frustration and outrage that gave us these two candidates.

When I pause to ponder as to why we are so angry, several things come to mind. First and foremost is the inaction of Congress to compromise. Each political party wants to be right and are less interested in doing what is right. Is their reelection and maintaining power more important than aiding American citizens? Congress raises our frustration with government by their inability to govern.

Candidates running for political office use attack ads to tap into our disgruntled nature and promote our fury. How disturbing is that old tactic?

Another factor fueling resentment is the media. But, not because of so-called “fake news,” but instead, ire is riled because many of us keep the news on 24/7. We continuously barrage ourselves with opinions, which only raises our blood pressure and not our moral. And, of course, we prefer to hear views that align with our own which makes us more intolerant of other’s opinions.

Using our voices through type or text has given our temper the courage to act up and out without being punished. The ability to speak our mind without a filter allows us to spread vitriol like those weeds in my backyard.

I recall being angry with my parents after they would punish me and send me to my room. Once there, I would whisper to the walls everything my temper would allow me to say. Would I ever shout the same words directly to them? I don’t think so.

I hate to burst all our bubbles, but did you know no one on earth is always right just as no one on earth is always wrong? We can learn a lot by listening to others as well as show compassion and empathy for their concerns. When we use respect for others in all we do, we teach our children well.

This week alone, my husband and I received two emails which had been forwarded by what appeared to be a few hundred folks who believed everything the article stated about a group of politicians. Was it true? After checking the facts through two different resources we found about a quarter of the email was based on fact and the rest was someone’s way to spread hate to a few hundred folks.

We are not helping America when we contribute to germinating the seeds of untruths, anger and division.

We need to save our rage for when we see injustice toward another or when an enemy attacks America or when a child suffers at the hands of evil. When our anger causes us to rise and demand goodness is the only time it is good to be angry.

Continually blaming and continuously complaining is not calming our 2-year-old temper tantrums. The solution may be to turn down the volume on our rhetoric, turn off the news for a while, close the computer and take a chill pill. When we do we, we might help heal ourselves and ultimately, our nation.