We live in an era of unprecedented comfort and freedom. A recent experience that drove this home was spending a few days in New Orleans. As my wife and I were on a walking tour through the French Quarter, our guide pointed out that it was not until 1890 that the city had sanitation. People simply dumped their excrement on to the narrow cobblestone streets. Early settlers lived in small log unventilated log cabins by mosquito-infested water sources and died of many different insect-borne infections. One of the reasons our life spans have increased 30 years since 1950 is the development of antibiotics and access to clean water. Reminders of the slave trade were present throughout the city. One would think that we would learn a way to much happier both individually and culturally. But no matter how comfortable you are, your brain will always be scanning the environment for danger. That is what your unconscious brain is designed to do. Human consciousness, as powerful as it is, has not learned how do deal with the much more powerful unconscious brain. We are always on the alert and anxious.
It’s not them, it’s us
Regardless of your political leanings, our politicians are not the problem with our society. I am not a great historian but it was clear all of our recent political candidates for president exuded anger, righteous indignation and were human verbal flame throwers. Whatever happened to focusing on the issues and the different choices in solving them? They are not the problem. It is us. We are angry and politics are simply a reflection of our collective consciousness. It would not have mattered who won. The problem is deep and has been there throughout human history. Cultural angst festers, explodes and re-accumulates. We continue to espouse world peace but have never been able to break this cycle. This time we can and world peace is a possible.
Doing the same thing
Over and over
And expecting a different result.
It is a possibility because we just underwent a bloodless revolution. We irrationally threw out anything that had to do with the current political structure and tore through both the Democratic and Republican party. How is this possible? You might be thinking that my line of thinking is implausible. It is not. We now have a choice of deciding what we really want – as a people, not by political leanings – unless you want to hold on to it.
Anger is the problem. It does not matter what religion, race, political belief, sexual preference you are. It also does not matter how justified you are in your anger. The more legitimate your anger, the more difficult it is to let it go. It will still destroy you. There are many problems created by continuing to remain in this state.
- You cannot think clearly when you are upset. It is a self-centered reactive survival response that happens in your powerful unconscious brain. Dwight Eisenhower finally realized that he could not make good choices when he was angry.
- Through a neurological phenomenon of mirror neurons your anger will stimulate anger in those around you. Have you noticed that when you yawn others around you will yawn? It is a direct stimulation of that part of the other person’s brain. That is why it is so critical for a leader not to negatively set off this process on a large scale.
- The only way issues are solved through anger is a fight and the most powerful entity wins. Is that what we want?
What is the solution?
The solution is you? You have heard the oft-repeated quote, “The only person you can change is you.” It is true and it works. The first step is awareness of:
- Your anger
- Its effect on your quality of life
- Your family’s experience when you are upset.
- Your co-workers’ reactions and impact on their quality of life.
- Your personal impact on society.
- The nature of anger
- It is driven by anxiety
- It happens when you lose control
Awareness is the first step of healing. You cannot solve a problem that you don’t understand. One of my remarkably successful mentors made a comment about a recent turn of events, “Never waste a crisis.”
We are now painfully aware of our societal anger and we can choose to be a part of it or look at it as an opportunity learn how to personally process it and share our awareness in our circles of influence. Once you are aware of the nature of the problem you can find the solution. If you choose to remain angry, you have also lost your right to complain. You have made a choice to continue to spiral down into your own personal societal abyss. No politician or external circumstance will ever bring you deep happiness and joy.
My challenge – to you and me
I am challenging you to wake up, look up and move forward – with your individual and societal pain. You will soon leave your pain behind and also made a significant contribution to our collective consciousness and planet.
The second edition of my book is based on the recent neuroscience research that is demonstrating that emotional and physical pain are equivalent entities since they are processed in similar areas of the brain. Since you cannot escape your thoughts, you are trapped – and angry. This is not a political problem.
Become aware of the relationship between anxiety and anger, incorporate the principles into your own life and become part of the solution. There is not another alternative. World peace then becomes a possibility and at some tipping point becomes a probability. It is the next step in the evolution of human consciousness.
I am upset about many terrible trends that are occurring and the fog of anger that is engulfing us. I have my own work to do………