Rage is the dominant emotion on the Internet. India seems to find new things to be angry about every day, and often multiple times a day. There is corruption, poverty, injustice, Maoists, communalism, educational fraud, freedom of speech, the list goes on.
Rage is usually caused by inaction/improper action of others. Because we know we deserve better, we want better and better is achievable, but not happening. Twitter gives you a very good snapshot at the anger phenomenon. Like restaurants change the dish of the day, following twitter trends will tell you what the in thing to be angry about is. Meta tweets about how twitter is all about getting angry, bitching and complaining about the state are not uncommon. We are angry, we know we are angry and that makes us angrier still.
Expressing your rage makes other angry, it gives you the opportunity to lash out, vent, feel better. It makes you feel like you are doing something.
Rage is justified, to some extent and it is definitely a result of very real stimuli. There is much injustice around us, much incompetence and a lot of unnecessary suffering. We feel helpless, cheated and small, in the face of the various rage makers, be it bureaucracy or poverty.
But we all know that rage leads to; mostly, more rage, clouding of good judgment and action that is hasty, too forceful and often misplaced. This, of course leads to more frustration and venting, and the cycle continues.
We need to graduate from harmful rage, of course. Here is how.
Markers of “bad” rage
Cynicism – you’ve made up your mind that nothings gonna get better, and there is no use trying, so why are you frothing at all?
Violence, in speech or action we’ve tried this a lot in India havent we? Has it changed anything? Small petty victories, at the cost of formation of bigger deeper enmities and fault lines.
Get good rage
Action: angry about giving a bribe? Owe up, decide that next time you wont. Learn how to not give bribes. Angry at how the road near your house is always dug up? Do something about it, small things, like what these guys did.
Positivity: Not to be confused with naivety. Things are getting better and with good action, co-operation and will, things can get better still. What you do makes a difference. Fight the negative thought that develops after you read about corrupt doctors who do genitoplasty on girls to “convert them” to boys. Realize that for every corrupt doctor there are ten activists willing to fight them, they need support and encouragement.
Follow sites like The Better India learn about the good things that are being done. People who have been able to use adverse circumstances to their advantage have all common beliefs, traits. They don’t give up and they keep pushing for better. Stop the rage, get happy.
How do you think we should handle anger? what are your outlets? And has rage ever struck you are harming you?
Note: Sometime last week i realized that there was a lot of contempt and anger in my tweets, both were crippling me. Both are things I can do without. SO I decided that while there are many people and practices I have problems with, I would not use contempt to express dissent. The next thing I want to tackle is rage, tougher to get rid of because it feels so right, but if overdone it is a liability, a disability and a thorn in my flesh. Hence this post.