I Am Angry

DenaNovember 21, 2011

evolutionyou.net | white candles

I spent a portion of my weekend in a right tizzy. I am angry about the SOPA Act that will give the government new powers to block Americans’ access to websites that corporations don’t like. I am angry that Congress declared pizza a vegetable. I am angry that police officers pepper-sprayed and beat peaceful student protesters at UC Berkeley.

I am angry about a lot of things and on Saturday morning I felt defeated. I found myself spiraling into an abyss of negative thoughts. I made a nasty comment in response to an (even nastier) comment that someone left on one of my Facebook posts. I called the person “blatantly idiotic.” Oh my. This wasn’t right and I knew it. I heard the brakes screech inside my head.

And that’s when I knew that the whole thing had gone too far. I am not unkind. I don’t make nasty comments like that. I had to stop, and quick. So I removed myself emotionally and brought myself to my place of peace.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. My golden words rung like bells through my mind. I apologized for the comment and agreed to peacefully disagree. Now, a full day has passed since all of this. What have I learned?

“Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” —Chinese Proverb

It is okay to be angry, but we can not allow our wounds to turn us into people we are not. Bad things will happen and it is important that we make a stand against them when we can. Gandhi said: Civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the state has become lawless or corrupt. And a citizen who barters with such a state shares in its corruption and lawlessness. It has been clear to me for a long time that my “state” (or country) has in some ways become corrupted.

Violence against peaceful protesters is not okay. Declaring pizza a vegetable because the big frozen food corporations that supply pizza and french fries to the schools have the money to bully and buy their way into Washington is not okay. The government of a nation that prides itself on freedom of speech censoring our right to free speech on the Internet is not okay.

We are angry about these things and we must give voice to our anger.

The Facebook thread that I mentioned above has continued to spread. Currently it has the most comments of anything that I’ve ever posted. The majority of the comments say something along the lines of: “Pepper spray is not brutality. Those people got what they deserved. They were breaking the law by sitting there, etc.”

Yesterday, I decided to take myself out of the conversation. It was clear that my words were being lost on those minds. However, something magical started to happen then. As more comments were left (whether for or against my position) my message spread further. More and more eyes were seeing my post because of the controversy. I gracefully thanked all who commented for helping me to fan the flame of awareness.

I am still angry, but for now I will continue to express my anger by lighting candles rather than by cursing the darkness. Please join me by passing this message along.

In love & light,

Comments (10)

  • Andra

    November 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I feel the same way you do about these things, Dena. And, so helpless to change it. May we all somehow come together to make big things happen. After the deadlock today on deficit reduction, we need to send all those people home en masse, change the system to be not about money and lobbying, and limit the amount of time any one person can spend on those positions. And then, I read those words and feel defeated all over again……lighting candles right along with you. xo

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 22, 2011 at 10:15 am

      Oh, Andra.  I could not have said it better myself.  Your words encapsulate everything that I was trying to say in this post.  When you made your post about Congress it struck me to my core.  YES!  Your ideas are so right on.  I hope that our candle flames burn so bright, that soon we may all come together and makes those big things happen.

  • James Moffitt

    November 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Dearest Dena, I think that a lot of people can identify with what you said above.  I believe that we as a people must find a way to hold on to our values but at the same time be willing to listen to the view points and values of others.  We also have to be careful not to get sucked into the negativity and hatefulness that ensues, when we get so focused on what we believe at the cost of what should be good for everyone. I have been saying for years that we need to send a caravan of Uhaul trucks to Capital Hill and remove those (insert appropriate adjective here) from office.  We need to get rid of special interest groups and corporate lobbyists who line the pockets of our law makers and sway them to their particular agenda.  We need to limit terms for all of our politicians.  We need for our politicians to have to follow the same laws that the people have to follow and they should not be exempt.  I could go on for hours, like most of us.  I appreciate your reminder of how important it is that we keep a cool head and separate ourselves from the drama.  

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

      Thank you, James!  <3  Your words could have come straight from my own mouth.  I am so grateful to have friends like you.  You pick me up and help me to keep on, keepin' on in spite of the challenges along the way.

  • Meg | One Love Meg

    November 21, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    I feel ya girl! I lit a candle for Casey Anthony… Something that angered me terribly. But no use and being angry at the world, time to be passionate and spread the word or love. I love that Chinese proverb…. It’s so true. A lot of stuff makes me angry, sad and emotional but it’s how we deal with it and accept it that makes us who we are. One Love!

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

      One love, Meg!  <3  Thank you for standing beside me.

  • Chase Night

    November 22, 2011 at 2:57 am

    I have a very hard time keeping my cool with people like that. But then I remember to feel sorry for them because they’re going to be the least prepared and most hurt if our government ever does something really frightening toward its citizens. (More than this.) My future in-laws are very ignorant about things like this and it’s so hard to not throw mashed potatoes in their faces when they say blatantly idiotic things, but then I heard them talking about their money trouble and I remember that I Occupy for them too whether they want me to or not because they’re being hurt and the saddest part is that they don’t see who is doing it. Like an old dog biting at gnats. Getting angry at those people won’t do any good because they need us more than anyone else.

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 22, 2011 at 10:12 am

      “Getting angry at those people won’t do any good because they need us more than anyone else. ”

      Yes, yes, and yes!  Thanks so much for this, Chase.  Thank you for all of the work that you have been doing in the name of this (r)evolution.  I am right beside you.  <3

  • Anonymous

    November 22, 2011 at 7:56 am

    We live in troubled times, both at home and abroad. It is hard not to be angry about so much unfairness and inequity that we see every day. Your approach to light candles instead of cursing the darkness is the best choice. Each of us can only do so much, but, it is important that we do what we can do. Continue to try to do a little good each day, volunteer, help a friend in a tough situation. You won’t change the world in a day, but, you will bring light and good to your corner of it and that may spread to others to try to so the same.

    1. Dena Botbyl

      November 22, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Thank you, Lou.  Yes, do a little good each day.  I always loved the Mother Teresa quote, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” 

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