Today I was contemplating what makes me angry.
My children, I’m sure, would tell you that everything makes me angry, because I think they think I’m angry all the time. But I’m not. As I compiled my list, however, I had to acknowledge that my children do make me angry, more than just about any other person on the planet, but it’s because I care about everything about them.
It’s easy to not get angry when you don’t really care. And it’s easy to get angry when you do.
The more I thought about what angers me, the more I saw that those things are things I care deeply about.
- The US educational system and the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, generally
- The environment
- Public services
- The impact of race and gender on social policy and people’s lived experiences
I also realized the things that make me angry are things that I feel largely powerless to influence. These things are enormous and multivalent. I don’t understand how to approach them. I can’t see a clear path to what I can do to improve them.
And that fuels my anger.
This combination of passion and powerlessness is stymying.
So I need a plan.
I need a small step, just one will do. I need something I can do, see, learn….
Let me stop right there. One of my problems is I will spend a lifetime learning about something and never acting on what I’ve learned because I feel like I don’t know enough to do anything.
There is so much to know in the world, and yet I know so little of it.
Maybe that’s my small step – acknowledging that it’s ok to take a step, even if I’m not an expert in whatever it is I’m undertaking.
Well, that felt kind of freeing. Because I don’t feel like an expert in too much of anything. The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know.
Ok. I’ve taken the small step of acknowledging I don’t have to know everything to do something.
I suppose I need another small step. I should narrow this one down to one of the anger categories.
And you should, too.
What makes you angry? Where is your confluence of passion and powerlessness? What is your small step? What is God calling you to do?
For lent this year, I’m giving up my powerlessness. There is something I can do; I just haven’t discovered what it is yet. So I’ll be seeking God for my daily small step to bring a plan to working in the passion He has already ignited in me.
Please join me.