Saturday, August 23, 2008

Angry, Mean People

Confession. I really can't stand mean people. I try to be tolerant and gracious when dealing with others who are not at all like me, but mean people don't deserve graciousness. They should be banished from society, exiled to a remote, deserted island somewhere without even the Professor or Maryanne to keep them company. What's that you say? Harsh? No, not really. Okay, maybe. This past Saturday I was in a grocery store picking up a few items and as I waited in the 10 items or less checkout line, my little bubble of peace was violently popped by a man waiting behind me in line. He was speaking rudely in a VERY loud voice into his cell phone (God help all those who are related to him). He was mad at having to wait so long in line, he was mad at the unfortunate person who dared to call him a second time and he shouted at his companions who were waiting for him at the customer service desk. Everyone around him was clearly uncomfortable at his angry outburst.
Why be so angry and mean? What good ever comes from it? It certainly doesn't improve your health, lengthen your life or endear you to others, so why live out of control? I find that when I am around that level of anger, I want to run away. I don't enjoy having the peace robbed from my little atmosphere. The thing I find most difficult is being genuinely kind to someone who behaves that way. I would love to say that the gentle love of baby Jesus spills forth from me on to all who are angry in my presence. Not so. It makes me feel angry instead. Why is that? How about you? What happens within you when anger is spewed out all around you?


Karen August 25, 2008 at 3:18 PM  

Yeh, it's definitely unsettling to be in close proximity to angry outbursts. I always wonder, too, what's going on inside a person who loses control, especially publicly, like that-- there must be deeper issues in their life than what they're blowing up over. On a good day, it occurs to me to pray for them--other times, I just get outta Dodge as quickly as possible!

Beckie August 25, 2008 at 10:48 PM  

I would love to say that Angelic voices sing back-up to my scriptural yet appropriate responses in these situations. However, I tend to be the person who stares at the angered individual with my left eyebrow arched as if to say, "Is this really necessary? I am going to give you the option to stop now, lest you become the subject of a blog or funny joke I tell later."