A guy rolled up on my right in traffic and yelled, “I will blow your *%^&!## head off,” if I didn’t let him cut in front of me. In the old days, I would have dismissed that as a slight exaggeration and kept going. Those days are gone, though, so I made space for him and lived to drive another day.
Fortunately, I haven’t met many people who would even think of killing someone as a merging technique, but I do know a ton of people who appear to be closing in on that benchmark. They live in a state of constant agitation, on guard and aggrieved by all kinds of things that, to be honest, have nothing to do with them.
They are infuriated by something that is being done/ignored by/to/with/without the approval/participation/absence of somebody they never met, will never meet, and whose life is none of their *%^&!## business. The more remote the connection, the more agitated they are, or so it appears.
Even some of the most docile creatures in my IRL community are ready to gird their loins and do battle with the enemy that’s making their lives harder, if only they could figure out who it is. My contacts can’t identify the source of the mischief, but “they” are plotting 24/7 to make matters worse.
Mostly, my contacts complain about challenges that are truly mundane, the stuff of long lines or late mail or canceled deliveries. We used to absorb all these slings and arrows without flinching, just rolling with the punches that life throws at us every day. Now, though, the obstacles are more personal, more intentional, more infuriating, and we need someone to blame.
Politicians and talk show hosts make $millions encouraging our anger, raking in ad revenues or campaign contributions or book deals by telling us how “they” are out to get us. When it's an officially recognized sector of the economy, Anger will be the largest industry in the United States. If we weren’t angry all the time, cable news, talk radio, most of the internet and half of Big Pharma would collapse.
And, maybe, that could be a good thing. If we weren’t angry all the time, we could solve some of the problems that cannot be addressed in echo chambers filled with land mines. If we weren’t angry all the time, we could live happier lives. We might even live longer, or at least enjoy our lives more.
The craziest thing about our chronic aggrievement is that we control most of it. We had just one day of sunshine in six weeks in Chicago this spring, but I didn’t even notice. I got soaked when the skies opened up on my walk back to the car the other night, but I laughed it off because, well, it’s only water.
That’s me on a good day. Put me in a car with a destination, though, and I will get offended by everyone who is going too slowly or too quickly or failing to signal or sitting for more than 0.002 nanoseconds after coming to a stop at a stop sign. Traffic is always a mess and I should expect the same thing every day, but somehow I get so caught up in the personal affronts that I actually thought about challenging a guy who threatened to, “Blow your *%^&!## head off.”
Clearly, he needs to calm down just a bit. So do I.
We’re not even going to ask you to click here to subscribe this week, because we might take it personally if you ignore our plea and we don’t want to go on a rampage over the whole thing.
Who writes this stuff?
Dadwrites oozes from the warped mind of Michael Rosenbaum, an award-winning author who spends most of his time these days as a start-up business mentor, book coach, photographer and, mostly, a grandfather. All views are his alone, largely due to the fact that he can’t find anyone who agrees with him.