Sunday, 27 November 2016

Cherish Anger

If I want to go on getting all self-righteous on the roads, shuddering to a halt in front of motorists so I can gesticulate wildly in a poor attempt to mime "I dislike you and the way you drive" then I must stop spending time with other people. It's making me go soft.

I sit there, seeing them (the same kind of them who populate the cars at which I direct my irate, improvised traffic signals: new to me, as yet nameless, neutal-looking folk) as they talk or smile or otherwise enjoy themselves. They're hard to hate at these moments.

Perhaps they're just now, like me, expressing a fondness for a nice cup of tea or in the next moment they are, again like me, getting excited as the conversation turns to that programme on the Baltic Crusades or how comfortable socks can be. Seeing these relatable, human sides of their character is good, and then it's swiftly slightly disturbing. This unexpected feeling's hard to place. Maybe I'd no longer flick the vees at them simply because they got near me when overtaking.

Life is confusing like this. Getting to know someone definitely makes it harder to treat them like a complete fool - the idea that they could, though appearing to be human, actually be made of straw and powered by mindless impulses ceases to be plausible.

We discuss the merits of ginger in biscuits and the point at which coffee intake gets to be a bit much (the nauseous-shakes stage). At this point I decide I wouldn't want to lose my temper. Perhaps it's just context. The road is, helpfully enough, not a tea parlour.

This is all probably only too obvious to everyone else. For my part, the revelation that I should get to know people before slagging them off for not indicating is stunning in its brand-newness.

There is a definite need to remain focused: when you see that wrong is being done, and you know you should act to create change, then it's essential to hold on to your anger. In these cases it's important to cherish rage, since it could be a force for good. However, shouting "you almost killed me, you twat" at anyone who happens to drive near me, whether they're a little old lady or a hair-trigger ignorant ultra-violentnik, or both, this is not the best use of my energy.

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