As I listen to the two boys upstairs argue about a box on the bed and who put it there, it brings to mind the insanity and inanity of most of our disagreements and differences; the unplanned but fiery anger that is unleashed from seemingly innocent remarks, actions or attitudes; the rage of irritation turned to an almost killing insolence because of a singular mistaken driving error. We have become a people wanting toward annoyance, seeking wrath and enjoying the resentment that comes with seeing the faults in others rather than being emotionally kind and forgiving.
I may be a perfect example of lashing out with anger toward the stupid antics of a fellow driver when even I have done similar moves and expected others to forgive my follies while operating my vehicle. Being a good driver does not make for a perfect driver and although I consider myself a good driver others may see my expertise as less than efficient, not only to be driving but to have passed the driver’s test. But this treatise is not about me specifically, it’s about the growing insolence and general disrespect we have for each other.
Road rage is on the rise according to the AAA foundation who surveyed nearly 4,000 in an attempt to quantify the attitudes of drivers throughout the last few decades. The reasons why the increase is not so easy to explain but many researchers believe that increases in social pressures, social media and the uncertainties of life in general make more people less prone to civility.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
― Helen Keller
If Helen Keller is right than our true colors are bleeding through, our true nature is seeping out of our pours and staining our pristine self-image, exposing to all who we really are. It is only through adversity that we can prove to ourselves and others who and what we really are. Only when we are confronted with the point of anger and bleeding from its attacks can stand victorious and shout and advertise our kindness and humanity.
Is it easier to scream and rant, or whisper and encourage? Is it better to shriek and accuse or to serve and teach? I think we all know the answer but the question of easy or better must be answered. It is better but it may not be easier. Like the smile or the frown it takes practice to do either one and someone said “you might as well smile”. In the same sense we might as well offer out kindness and patients rather than anger and incivility.
The benefits of social media are astounding but in the same sentence as those praises of technological wonders the ills and problems associated can be spoken. We can speak to millions with one click but at the same time we fail to speak to our loved ones in the same room.
We can look up billions of bits of information but fail to see the evidence of needs all around us and the scenario continues; we are disconnected while in close proximity, wanting to be loved but unable to give of ourselves in order to earn that love.
I’m not exactly where the problem started or if it really had a point of antecedent but the reality of today is that we are facing the most destructive force against our humanity that man has ever faced. Greater than the atom bomb or other weapons of mass destruction we are destroying ourselves one life at a time on a global scale.
From an angry outburst on the road of life to the long held hatreds of years gone by we are poisoning the well of our hearts and with it the will to truly live.