Lockdown Reflections Day 23: Angry!!!
We need to be angry at someone or something. People are dying. The economy is tanking. People are starving. Jobs are being lost. It’s devastating.
Let’s be careful of where we direct our anger. A lot of anger is being directed at governments right now. Everyone has an opinion about what would be the right thing to do, and if government isn’t doing that thing it’s easy to be angry at them.
If your country has lots of Covid cases then you can be angry that your government didn’t lockdown fast enough or effectively enough. If your country has very few Covid cases you can be angry that your government locked down too quickly and was too tough on the economy.
If your government is giving bailouts, you can be angry that it is giving it to the wrong people. If your government isn’t giving enough bailouts, you can be angry about that - even if you’ve avoided paying tax, or encouraged people to leave the country for the past few years ensuring the government doesn’t have funds available. If your government tries to borrow money you can be angry about that too.
If the people in charge look like they’re scrambling to respond to a global crisis as if they weren’t prepared or have never dealt with anything like this before (duh), you can be angry about that too.
You could even go full racist and choose to be angry at Chinese people. You can shout at them in the shops (I have Chinese friends - this is really happening). You can join a campaign to boycott all Chinese products (good luck with that - you literally signed the campaign using a phone made in China). You can be angry at the Chinese government because for six weeks last year, they had no idea what they were dealing with and made some bad decisions trying to not create panic in their country.
You can be angry at people who are struggling with lockdown. You can be angry with co-workers who are not “pulling their weight” when you have no idea how much is weighing them down. You can be angry with school teachers who are sending too much inappropriate home school materials by email because they don’t know what they’re doing because they were never trained for this.
You can be angry at so many things.
And then you can share your anger on social media. And fuel other people’s anger. And you can even *incite* anger in others, because anger feels better when it is shared.
You can choose not to.
Maybe you can’t simply choose to not be angry.
But maybe you can choose to be angry in a way that’s helpful. We should mainly be angry at Covid-19. I don’t know if that’s helpful, but be angry at the disease rather than at other people.
Be angry at the systems that have been exposed by this disease. Be angry that poverty exists and that poor people are going to struggle immensely to survive the health and economic devastation of Covid-19. Be angry at economic systems that have no social safety nets. Be angry that all around the world, political leaders have spent years looking after themselves and their rich mates, while at the same time gutting systems designed to deliver protection and livelihoods to the societies they were supposed to be serving.
Being angry is sometimes necessary. But it’s not healthy long term. If you have to be angry, please don’t be angry at the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
Let’s all try to be more patient, more understanding, more gracious, more tolerant. Let’s ask more questions and make less accusations. Let’s choose to respect our leaders where we can see that they are genuinely doing their best to make good decisions. Let’s choose to believe the best about other people, until they absolutely, positively prove us wrong, and we are sure we have all the information required to understand fully.
There’s a simple test: if your anger doesn’t lead to positive action that brings positive benefits to others, it is probably toxic.
Let’s deal with our anger, rather than venting it. Let’s use the anger we feel to bring positive change in uplifting ways.
Let’s choose love.