When the culture erupts into chaos and violence breaks out in the streets, anger is usually identified as the culprit. We’re told that people get so angry about the economy, about politics, or about injustice that they can’t help but act destructively.
Actually, destructive behavior isn’t the result of angry people, but of people who aren’t in control of their anger. We all get angry, and anger itself can be quite productive. Anger motivated our ancestors to rise up and fight a Revolution for freedom and to put an end to slavery. It’s motivated modern generations to come against racial inequality and to end abortion.
Some people call that kind of anger “righteous anger” because it transforms things for the better.
Righteous anger is provoked by wrongdoing and injustice. It has liberated countries, stamped out disease, and released men and women around the world from wrongful imprisonment.
It’s when anger is misused or allowed to run wild that it destroys families, communities, even nations. Lawlessness doesn’t promote hope and change. It breeds destruction and distracts us from what’s important, which drives our culture further away from our national ideals instead of closer to them.
America’s hope for a better future lies not in ridding ourselves of anger or in allowing it to run amuck, but in righteous anger – channeling it toward positive, productive choices.