If one feels outraged, upset, sad or disappointed about something – they think the "reasons" (or justifications or excuses) are in the events that caused them to be outraged. And along with the outrage, upset, disappointment, most take the license to be nasty, angry and vengeful of the "perpetrators." And they castigate, condemn and vent their ire rather vociferously in most cases. And when the supposed outrage is due to an event they come to know of from the media, it's most times based on second, third, fourth and multiple hand information or in today's world, just plain fiction even!
Regardless of fact or fiction, greater the outrage one feels, the more they have things within to work out. Sounds absolutely ridiculous to many, I'm sure. However, that's the truth. Anything that I get upset about, is a reflection of something within that I don't like about myself.
What? How can that be? This just doesn’t make sense might be the thought! Anything that upsets me gives me priceless information about myself – that is the truth! And how is that so?
In what might appear to be "far out in La-la land" sort of way, if it’s a part of your life, then it's meant to be for your growth. And while considering a really tough, and sometimes uncomfortably painful experience, the question might be, "How can such a thing be for my learning? I am blameless and don't deserve this. This is so unfair!" If so, all the more reason to go within - for the answers are there.
Take anything that has caused you to be outraged in the recent past. Find out exactly what causes the outrage. Asking these questions repeatedly, "What about this actually upsets me? What do I expect that I'm not getting?" will help get to the core of what one expects. Those questions in a cycle will help you get to what you really expect, and why!
And once you get that, ask yourself, “Where in my life, am I behaving similar to the behaviour that I find outrageous?” Note: It might not be a direct fit and aligned to the behaviour that you find abhorrent. It will be similar though and might require some thinking to find the link.
And what does one do when they find the answers? And what if they can't find the link? The question is, are they really willing to find the link?
A couple of examples from my life helped me understand that my outrage is a reflection of aspects of myself that I do not like! Maybe you could draw parallels from those in your own life?
Example 1: I used to get upset (still do sometimes) about people who don't follow traffic rules. Upon self-inquiry (questions mentioned in Part 2 of 5,) I found I was upset because people were selfish and inconsiderate of others. So, I asked myself, where am I selfish or inconsiderate of others? I realised that I took loved ones for granted - I was being inconsiderate of them. This awareness helped me become more considerate of loved ones. And there is a long way to go yet!
Example 2: News of children, and others who aren't strong enough, being ill-treated, abused, being raped, etc. used to bring about extreme anger and an almost visceral rage to punish the perpetrators. Upon self-inquiry, I learn that in my own way, I was abusive and forcing my views and ideas on those who were not as aware or grown, or had a different value system. A very dear friend once told me, “it's impossible to have a debate with you because you're more intelligent and well-read." Upon reflection, and intentionally using strong language, I was being abusive, ill-treating, and in a roundabout way, forcing myself and my ideas on someone who felt they couldn't defend themselves. And this, to my very dear friend, whom I loved dearly and I knew he loved me as dearly! Appalling behaviour, right?
More such instances that I introspected upon made me think - I then promised that I will be more aware and be more considerate. Maybe some will think I'm sensationalist and too rigorous and utopian in my approach. The truth I understood is that whatever upsets me, the reasons are within and a reflector for my growth. The moment I accept and start working on that, I grow!
And how can one use all this for their own growth?
Hopefully, you will have found some answers that help find what is within that causes the outage. If you have not, it only means that you have not searched enough. This is THE TRUTH.
And with the answers from within (reiterating lest the issue be placed outside) think about your behaviour in the past - in situations that you were outraged. Were you kind to the “perpetrators?” Or were you angry, vengeful, spiteful or downright nasty in your thoughts, words or actions? Did you vent your ire in some form, most likely today on social media? Like for example, "those people should be hung!" or "those people should be tortured and killed!" Or "We must wreak revenge on them for this!" Did you wish the worst fate for such people?
And did you feel good after that? And the really important question to ask - Did anything change in your life directly as a result of you venting or being angry? Did the outrage come down or increase?
The question that comes up now might be, "WHY on earth should I be considerate of these despicable beings?" And the follow-up, "Why should I be considerate?" Already some friends have responded to these posts with variations of, "I am not a saint!" or "I am a normal human being," or "How do we live like this in today's world?" and yes, "You are being an idealistic dreamer!"
Yes - I have myself felt all these emotions and still do - with the difference that I am aware that I need to go within for my growth. And more on this to follow - as to why I benefit most from being kind, considerate and compassionate even with these "despicable" beings. Being kind, considerate and compassionate doesn't mean everything is condoned. Far from it. Anger is very useful, being angry within isn't. That we need to act without anger and ensure the greatest good, in an inspiring manner.
Any action that makes another feel less about themselves, or justifies violence or force (physical, mental, emotional) isn't useful. Whatever the "provocation!" being overly forceful only means that the person isn't inspired themselves and hence not inspiring others! Note: Self-defence is a natural instinct and that’s not what is being referred to - that's resisting force. And there are always exceptions, as long as they're "appropriate."
Any action towards those perpetrating despicable acts must have the ultimate goal of making them better - not just belittling, or at the extreme eliminating, them!
Maybe a thought that might be occurring to you as you read this series on "outrage," could have been, "I'm a normal human being. I'm not a Saint that I forgive and condone everyone for their outrageous behaviour." Or maybe even, "How can I stand by and do nothing? I'm being irresponsible then."
Worthwhile to remember that with the advent of social media, outrage is taking on a rather irresponsible turn! People end up making statements that they would not in person! And with greater speed of information transmission, misinformation also gets transmitted as fast!
Remember: History is replete with examples where those who forgive perpetrators of despicable actions experience true liberation and freedom. So, this is about you, not anyone else.
You're responsible for your experience - events are events, and how you experience them is entirely up to you. And this series is about the fact that anything that happens, is for your growth. Whether you like that or not! Whether you accept that or not! A little like, whether you accept it or not, the Earth revolves around the Sun. When you choose to look at everything as a learning opportunity, growth is inevitable.
Of course there's much more to say on this! Maybe another series? For now, that's it in Outrage! Thanks much.
Actually, there is more – here is a nice video from BigThink that I came across after finishing this series of messages on Outrage!
A nice video about Moral Outrage and the way the Internet and Social Media make a difference. Using 5 minutes to watch this video might be most useful.
Basically, to me, the cloak of apparent anonymity, makes people less worried about how they behave. Long and short of it, the Internet brings out the bully in some.
A good question to ask oneself before commenting or posting on Social Media would be, "Would I say this to the person if they were in front of me?"
And yes, remember - The more forgiving you are, the better your life becomes - and yet, learn lessons and protect yourself as well.