Use your outrage

 

Anger. Is it a useless emotion, or a potential source of power and strength? An avenue to conflict, or the fuel to feed our courage?

Here’s a universal truth for you: life’s greatest tragedies are borne from our indifference, not our failures. Our nonchalance consistently results in our acceptance of the things by which we should be repulsed. Anger is not the enemy. Yet misguided anger, resulting in continual avoidance, shaming, complaining and blaming, is an utterly pointless pursuit.

So talk about the fires in Angola, Brazil and the Congo - and then acknowledge your role in deforestation. Recognise your part in the consumerist economy. Then productively and proactively make positive changes to disengage from the linear, capitalist system.

Talk about our worldwide reliance on single-use plastics - about how 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in our oceans each year. Then enact positive change, no matter how small. Pledge to stop buying single-use plastics, get that reusable coffee cup and water bottle - and commit to them using them every day.

Talk about social and political issues with your family and friends. Have a real conversation, with push-and-pull, exchanging ideas and actions. Then lobby your elected officials to propel the changes you want. The changes we need. Make your voice heard. Use your anger!

Talk about systematic racism, colonisation and white privilege. Acknowledge that these things EXIST and that you may be benefitting from them. Talk about how leaders, governments and society treats people, communities and families of colour, with increasing levels of barbarism. Get mad. Get furious! And then use your privilege to listen, learn and help eradicate these systems of oppression.

And lastly, be angry with the people who say nothing. Be exasperated by their indifference and nonchalance. Get mad - be irate! - and then use that outrage to DO better. To BE better with your actions, your vote, your dedication.

Awareness, curiosity, passion and zeal: this is what life is about. So find yourself a set of reasons to be outraged, and then use that shit, my friends. Because if you’re not angry, you’re not listening.