It’s OK to Be Angry and Hurt
I’m grateful for the wisdom of my friend, Jason Kotecki, and his permission to share this excerpt from his wonderful perspective that brought tears to my eyes. You can find the full post here.
The bald eagle has long been a symbol of our nation. This painting is a symbol of how our nation is feeling right now.
There is a lot of anger.
We are angry at the injustice that has gone on too long.
We are angry at people who don’t seem to understand our point of view.
We are angry at the unproductive violence and destructive looting taking place in our communities.
We are angry at our leaders and the media and this damn virus.
First of all, let me say this: It’s ok to be angry.
I am all for being optimistic and positive thinking. But life is meant to be lived and it’s meant to be felt. Putting on a happy face to mask some sadness is not all that different from using food or drugs or alcohol to numb some deep pain.
Right now, we are angry and we are hurt.
People have been hurt by racism.
People have been hurt by poverty.
People have been hurt by political divisiveness.
People have been hurt by this pandemic: physically, financially, and emotionally.
Something Kim and I try to teach our kids and thus remind ourselves of is this: Hurt people hurt people.
“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” –Yoda
We are afraid that we might lose our life, our livelihood, or someone we love.
We are afraid that what we have will be taken from us.
We are afraid that we or someone we love will suffer great injustice.
We have lost so much, and are afraid that we will lose even more.
The way forward is not to keep hurting one another. That is not who we are. We are America. We are a melting pot of beautiful cultures and diverse perspectives unified under a banner of freedom and a spirit of courage, compassion, and cooperation.
It’s okay to be angry. But may God give us the grace to transform it into a righteous anger that fuels ruthless, senseless acts of love.
That’s the prescription: do something recklessly generous in the next few days for someone who won’t see it coming. Something that goes against the narrative that’s been fed to us by our news media.
Jason Kotecki is a professional speaker and artist. He and his wife Kim are the co-creators of Escape Adulthood, a company and lifestyle brand that helps people rediscover the secrets of childhood in order to build better lives, businesses, and teams.