Wednesday, October 02, 2002


James 1: 19-20 Know this, my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger,  for the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God.

I can be a very angry person. Matter of fact, anger has been one of the most practiced traits of mine for the majority of my life. It pervades my daily life, and on the internet it can be quite obvious, in my posts on message boards, on my blog, in my dealings with others via e-mail or comment boxes throughout the internet. Given my penchant for a sharp tongue, if St. James had to pick a man for an apologetic mission, I would not be given the job, for according to James, the anger of man does not work the righteousness of God. Exactly how many people have I turned away from the Truth of the Catholic Church because of my biting sarcasm and sardonic comments? I pray it is none, because if it turns out that I've even turned away one soul, I may as well fasten a millstone around my neck and plunge myself into the sea.

Why am I angry? Heck if I know. Oh sure, I can blame it on the typical familial disfunction that absolutely everyone goes through in their lifetime but when it boils down to it, I am the one who is responsible for my own actions. I've had the option of either lashing out and reaching out and more often than not I've lashed. The blame rests on no one but myself... plain and simple.

Why continue down this road though? Another good question and one I think I can answer. I've noticed that as I've gotten older my anger has become more manifest. I have indulged it, in instances it has been encouraged, I have been empowered. Back in high school I don't recall being an overly angry person. Oh sure, there are things that get kids hot under the collar, but more often than not things were alright and I don't remember anger dominating my life like it had in later years. I think the tail-spin began in my college years, anger was a great motivator. Being an athlete, motivation is always the key. You can train and physically prepare for a competition but without motivation it's generally all for naught. I had team members who were phenomenal in practice but had no fire in their belly. These people would always be beaten in the final stretch (cross country and track), they would be out kicked, out run at the end, always finishing in second (2nd place is the first loser). Not me. I was a "winner", I was motivated, I wanted it, I got it. My motivation? Anger, pure and simple. Attack anyone and everyone, hate them. With that hate came energy, energy that allowed me to compete and win. This attitude was empowered by my coaches who would question my work ethic, my dedication to the team, my drive and desire all in an attempt to further rile me up. It worked more often than not. I could be a "Class A" prick.

So what happened? Well, eventually I graduated, but anger had so pervaded my life that I couldn't let it go after that. It cost me friends, it cost me my happiness for quite some time. I think to this day and age I still suffer the effects of this attitude I had. It has been a hard habit to break. Having felt I burned all my bridges in Buffalo, NY (where I got my BS and MS degrees) I moved half way across the country to Oklahoma City, OK more in an attempt to run away from my past than to garner new opportunities.

It was in vain though because you cannot outrun yourself.

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