Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Culture of Anger

Boy, it's been a rough few days around here! Have you noticed that a majority of our "big" headlines lately have centered around people lashing out at someone or something? Everyone is angry about something anymore. In politics, Rep. Joe Wilson yelled "Liar" during President Obama's speech. Speaker of the House Pelosi is demanding retribution in multiple apologies in a cranky mother hen fashion. Private citizens across the country have been protesting angrily the amount of money that Congress has been spending in stimulus money with "Tea Parties", much like the original Boston Tea Party. In sports, Serena Williams unleashed a string of expletives and anger toward line judges during her U.S. Open tennis match. Michael Jordan delivered his Hall of Fame speech with tongue-in-cheek sarcasm and chip-on-shoulders venom. And he has broad shoulders. And most recently, the MVA embarrassment of Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech of Best Female Video of the Year to express his opinion that another's video was better.

Where is all this anger coming from? These are only a few examples that grabbed the national headlines. There are many, many more horrifying examples locally, all over the country of robberies, murders, road rage, drunk driving and gang-related crimes. We all seem to want and need others to see things the way we see them. Have the same opinions we do. And if they don't, we are taking action to show them the error in their ways. Rising up and taking a stand because we have the need to show that we count. Or drown ourselves in our despair. What's going on?

In my opinion, the past ten year of teaching, preaching and evangelizing the new buzz-word "TOLERANCE" is the problem. With the brand of tolerance that is being held up as the example, there is no right or wrong. Everyone has their own views and opinions and no one should be "belittled" into being wrong. I think in the ten years or so of this philosophy we have all seen that there's a huge flaw in this thinking as someone is always in charge of deciding, and judging, the tolerance around them. In other words, not being tolerant of someone's opinion or views. And it seems the ones that preach this brand of tolerance the loudest are the ones that scream intolerance the most. Do they not see the irony in that? But the tolerance and right and wrongness of big issues like politics and human rights has trickled down to the decay of wrongness of smaller things like bullying, entitlement and lack of work ethics. It is my own belief that there needs to be right and wrongs. And not defined in two billion different ways, leaving it to everyone's own definition. One way. I happen to be a person that believes in God and His ways and His rights and wrongs. I think it goes hand-in-hand. But, regardless, I think all this should be food for thought for everyone. We can no longer ignore the ramifications and results we are seeing in everyday life now of just how unrealistic it is for everyone to live and believe in their own set of rules. It's just not working. Sometimes we need to play the adult and make the tough decisions in life. Be true to yourself, in the way you were intended to be. Even those of us that fight in the name of God and His ways are doing so in unacceptable ways. God did not intend for us to become murderers of those we think are doing wrong anymore than those doing wrong in their own name are wrong. Be accountable. We need to realize that some things are simply wrong and punishable. Other things are opinions and allowable. And that there's alot of us! We need to find a way to respect our differences, respect our commonalities and respect ourselves. Hmmm. Maybe we all need to go back to school and learn the definition of respect.

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