“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – Augustine of Hippo
While the notion of “righteous anger” – anger at injustice, oppression, pain and suffering – is good and healthy anger, generalized anger at life is unhealthy. In our present environment generalized anger seems to be the emotion of the day every day. The former leader of the free world has made it so by normalizing viciousness, intolerance, and hatefulness with acerbic rants and torrential, vitriolic social media attacks.
For many, the challenge of embracing Hope is fading, yet I often encounter those who have adopted Courage. Not courage to be the kind of in-your-face, back-alley-brawl change agent, but Courage that recognizes that a kinder world begins with kinder people. Courage that recognizes that for one person to experience less pain, suffering, injustice or oppression doesn’t mean that another person has to experience more of that pain, suffering, injustice or oppression. Courage to be kind, forgiving, decent, civil. Courage to smile and demonstrate benevolence even to those who might not deserve it at the moment.