A friend recently told me that she owed some people an apology because she got angry at them in the course of a discussion. I told her that I don’t think we owe anyone an apology just for getting angry. I may be in the minority but I think that anger gets a really bad rap in our society. Yes, I know. I’m well-versed in self-help psychology. Inappropriate anger is … well, inappropriate. Acting on your anger in appropriate ways like, for example, throwing dishes or verbally abusing someone is more than inappropriate … it may be a crime. Going around angry all the time will eat you alive from the inside out, destroying your health. But sometimes … the opinions of Mr. Spock and certain self-help gurus notwithstanding … anger is the appropriate emotion. It tells you your boundaries are being violated and gives you the courage to stand up for what you believe. Being passionate is not a defect of character, nor is being assertive but those uncomfortable with people who are direct often confuse Passion with anger and assertiveness with aggression.
The truth is, I think our society discourages Passion in general. It starts with treating anger as a defect of character and continues with a societal suppression of sadness, particularly among men. Grieve the loss of a friend … or even of a dream … too deeply and someone is sure to tell you, It will be OK or, Everything happens for a reason. They may tell you your loved one is in a better place or that your dream just wasn’t meant to be. Grieve too long and someone is likely to explain that it’s time for you to move on. And you’d think that our pleasure-seeking society would at least encourage joy but I don’t think it does. Why do you think that people need substances like alcohol to lift their inhibitions so they can have a good time? Walk up to someone you love and tell them just how much. I’ll bet they are embarrassed or tell you you’re over doing it.
Bundling may not be a good thing when it comes to internet, phone and cable but it’s the only thing if you want to be passionate. Passion is a package deal. If you want to be passionate, this is a good theme song**:
Anyway, that’s what I think.
** Moment by the amazing Canadian family, Leahy from their recording, Lakefield.