Superstition

I read an article over the weekend that suggests, quite rightly, that being angry is useful, assuming that ire can be channelled effectively. This has been happening for a while: identifying what it is that causes emotional responses, then dictating the means by which that can be converted into something more useful. It’s not that anger doesn’t have value, either: as a poet, that kind of strong, inescapable emotion has an awful lot going for it. Expression can be a tough ask however: today, we’ll start fixing that too.

Things that Make me Angry, by Sarah aged 52 and a Half

People

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That’s it, nothing else on this list. People are the problem. Watching them destroy environments and fuck up each others lives whilst at the same time choosing to wilfully ignore all the stupid shit that takes place in other’s existences. I also utterly count myself in this Angry List: personal actions sometimes are very much worthy of promoting both rage and disappointment. So, how is it possible to make things better?

I don’t think anybody really can expect to have that kind of affect on large swathes of humanity. Looking at alternatives, by far the best course of action is to attempt to affect change in small doses, a person at a time. That means starting with yourself is a good beginning. So, how do I stop myself getting angry currently. Hmm… it’s a tough ask. So much bad news. So many potential disasters on the horizon. Where do I even start?

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The answer, of course, is to not be so hard on myself. By learning compassion for self it is easier to separate feelings, making a decent attempt to rationalise what’s going on. Then, it is all about the business of being able to adequately describe how things make me feel so that the process can be translated from brain to page, and then becomes easier to explain to strangers.

Having now managed to crack this, at least in part, it is time to take the issues out of brain and onto a page. Therefore, this is my starting point: if you make me angry, there’s a far greater chance going forward that will be explained, using language that effectively communicates both reasoning and response. This is NOT an excuse to cause further conflict however, that needs to be properly quantified.

This is not the means by which things are made worse.

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That whole thing about being the change you wish to see in the world? Ghandi was spot on. This is the means by which change happens, and I can not be scared of it.

So, let’s roll.

Begin Again

Religion has an awful lot to answer for: wars, plagues of frogs, beards… the list is endless. At it’s core however we, as humans, should grasp its true significance. This is a system of control. All religions present rules for living a good life, suggest means by which this should take place. Most religions reassure that it’s okay, death is just a transitional state when the reality is a lot more bleak and frankly frightening for most. Religion, simply put, was a requirement as man developed free will and curiosity. It was the means by which people could be dictated to, whilst selfishly playing on basic fears.

The reality for billions of other people however is that religion is an essential, brilliant part of their existence. It allows them peace and focus to become better individuals. Faith provides vital communities that care and clothe, support and understand: nurturing development, granting vital peace to those at the end of their existences. Religion provides means by which existence is both understood and continued, and it is the love within hearts and minds that can bring so much good and happiness to bear.

Both these opinions are equally valid.

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Religion is the first place where, I now grasp, the true value of compromise was learnt. My first direct experience with the devout was not pleasant. However, it taught a lesson that only now after nearly thirty five years has registered as the norm. Allow other people to believe what they wish, and respect that right. Nothing else really matters in the world right now than being able to exist with each other in a manner that will then allow us all to work on the more pressing issues facing the environment.

Except, of course, other people’s priorities are different.

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After a life-changing event on Friday, a lot of priorities have been shifted. Over the next few weeks, as these alterations become more apparent, there will undoubtedly be some changes. That includes making reasoning more flexible. It is becoming apparent that a lot of basic knowledge on interacting with people has never really been properly grasped during my lifetime: this is a very good opportunity to start working out where the holes are.

Every day is a school day, remember.

Honesty

I know there are some men who are continually frustrated and annoyed by the amount of airtime women get in their Social media. Women do not matter in such situations. They are taking important focus and attention away from other issues. Their continued irritation that everybody should be treated fairly goes against Christine doctrine. Their place is, as has always been the way, as a supporter of men. They are here to take care of their needs ahead of their own, their children’s ahead of their own. They are not to be considered as equal, paid as such or considered for particular regard.

There are days online when it is hard to believe that 100 years ago women in this country (some, not all) were recognised as having a right to vote. In fact, looking at what I saw yesterday, there was a reminder that really, very little has changed at all. We may have a notion of freedom, but abuse and anger are still very much prevalent. This isn’t from the older generation either. A whole new group of young men are growing up thinking it is perfectly acceptable to abuse women, apply outdated stereotypes and basically threaten others, mostly without redress.

Not much has changed in a century. In fact, if you put a critical eye to events, the notion of genuine progression is slim at best. Having a woman running the country might seem to indicate change, but we all know the basic truths on our own levels. Abuse is not socially unacceptable, so it keeps happening. Equality does not exist in so many places and is not likely to until the balance of power shifts out of mostly male hands. Even with women in charge, repression and fear remain more prevalent than comfort and understanding. This isn’t about smashing the patriarchy either. There are a lot of women doing as much, if not more damage than their male counterparts.

Not everybody is a hero, and enemies are becoming harder to spot.

I think this is the best way forward. Accept you won’t change everybody, and so start small. Make the changes in the communities you are a part of. Push others to challenge their own preconceptions, and then let them, in turn, have a positive influence elsewhere. I don’t want it to be another 100 years before I see progress for anyone who does not fit the societal norm. Change has to happen now.

I will become the change I wish to create.