MLK: Addressing Your Anger

Addressing your anger, MLK style: A teacher was telling me the story of her student who, when learning about Martin Luther King Jr., asked her, “Even after all of the things that happened to him, why is he always smiling?”

Another child asked, “Why wasn’t he angry?”

Your Anger realized

your anger
Photo Cred. Wikipedia

He was really angry and he knew he had reason to be angry. But he chose not to be violent with that anger. He knew the anger meant that he loved, not hated. He loved people so much he wanted people to feel worth something. Segregation, discrimination makes people feel totally worthless. Knowing his anger meant love instead of hate, helped him chose to use this anger (love) to make a difference to all of these people.

But where does that leave us? We are all angry about something, at some point. But what is anger really? Anger is usually an expression of grief. Something important to us is lost or threatened. Anger always has to do with something being important to us, something we love.

What if when we felt anger, we found the love in it? If we found what we loved and made it visible,and validated it, then how would we feel. What could be possible?

There is still so much hatred and discrimination and fear in our communities.What if we found the love in all injustices? What if we found what was important in our fear? How would that have us acting differently? What if, instead of fear or hatred, we turned that anger into a dream to elevate love like Martin Luther King, Jr?

What would you dream your anger into?

Beverly Diehl over at Writing in Flow has organized a blogfest to promote a discussion on discrimination in our times and encourage some honest conversation about it. Please click on the link and see what other bloggers are saying. Thanks.

24 thoughts on “MLK: Addressing Your Anger”

  1. Very well written post, very good advice. Although, hm…, anger managent… Sorry every time I hear this expression, I can only think of the movie with Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson :), and every time I get angry, I think of this movie, so I start smiling instead of shouting. This is my little trick.

    1. i don’t think hate exist. People can only hate someone they loved once. When angry or disappointed, their love just take another aspect, that is called hate. Just my opinion 🙂

      1. although i don’t believe in hating people, i’m not sure i can buy the concept that hate doesn’t exist or people can only hate people they once loved. many people feel hatred toward adolph hitler who never loved him, for example.

          1. “Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness” ~ Chinese Proverb

            Is it necessary to ‘hate’ Hitler to treasure the preciousness of human life? Hitler IS a person (well, was…)

          2. i don’t like Hitler, as i don’t like many others who have killed innocents and ruined so many lives. I have a lot of Hitlers in my country, and i don’t like them, but i don’t hate them. For me, Hate is a very strong emotions that goes from the heart, just like love. This is why, its a different love. Hate/love are constantly there within me, whereas my “dislike” of Hitler comes from the mind and is triggered by something i thought of, a conversation i had, a text i read etc. It’s not living with me like Love is.
            I might be wrong, most probably i am, but i still say, i hate no one, i just don’t love what they do, their role, reactions, life, etc. They have used the Gift of God the wrong way

  2. I like the idea of finding love in our fear and hatred, of digging deeper and discovering the root cause for it, owning up to it no matter how irrational it might be, then letting it go.

    Thank you for showing me a different way to look at things this morning, Jodi.
    Karen Wojcik Berner recently posted..MLK Day, 2012My Profile

    1. What is hurt or fear? Grieving something you lost or might lose. I agree, when we identify them, they have less power.

  3. Wow, what a question. I actually do not like to be angry, it’s not an emotion I do well. It drains me, leaves me feeling vacant, as if I was on a drinking bender. I sit alone in my mind almost lost. I cant escape being angry, it happens from time to time, I am human after all, which means I am flawed and will tumble. I think since we are all part of a delicate human eco system, and anger is one of those less desirable emotions, it does keep us balanced. While I dislike the feeling and how it impacts me, I know sometimes it’s part of the balancing process within me. I liked where you went with the message, nicely done.
    Brenda recently posted..What Is Your Ethnic Heritage?”My Profile

  4. Interesting look at an emotion not as easily understood as it is felt. Something like depression, or why some have a high tolerance for cold weather and opposed to warm weather, and of course vice-versa.

    I’ll have to stop back by. You have a lot of interesting topics in your side bar as well.
    RYCJ recently posted..Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s DayMy Profile

  5. Hello Jodi, this is my first visit here and I’m thrilled. My experience with Anger is that it’s often due to not understanding my fears or not trusting my strengths enough. Fear leads to Insecurity and the most common way to ‘act out’ or to scream for help is through displaying frustration. (I’m not proud of this, but it really was how things were for me.) After lots of daily freewriting and long walks and breathing meditations and reading, I did connect with and calm my scared self. Now I’m a lot less irritable. And I remind myself to be compassionate towards others. I think I’ve read this somewhere: that Compassion and Acceptance will lead us (human race) very far … I’m certainly hoping to work towards this.

  6. I think you just gave me an “Aha!” moment. For I’d never thought about anger in that way before, that it comes from loss of something valuable. It’s so true. I think about the times I’ve been angry and it was at times when I felt robbed and was frustrated by it. Wow, thank you! I have to think about what this means to me.
    Monica recently posted..I’ve Lost It!My Profile

  7. whenever i feel angry, which isn’t very often, i know i need to adjust my perceptions. i like the way you turn anger around and look at it differently. personally, i don’t want to ‘dream my anger’ into something else. i want to follow my dreams, while adjusting my attachments as they are revealed through any angry feelings which bubble up along the way

    thank you for this thought-provoking post 😉

  8. Great post. I never thought about anger being an expression of grief. I will never think of it any other way now though. It makes sense on every level. And I love, “What if we found the love in all injustices? What if we found what was important in our fear?”

    Thanks for helping me look at things in a different way.

  9. I personally think this particular blog post ,
    Blinds “MLK: Addressing Your Anger | Heal Now and Forever”, rather engaging
    not to mention it was in fact a superb read.
    Many thanks-Aurora

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