In a recent weekend workshop with the Metta Center, a woman posed the question whether there could be conflict without anger. The short answer, for those who were wondering, is a big “probably not.” But anger itself is a neutral force. It can be hideously destructive, but we can also turn it to creative, positive use. At its best, anger is a messenger, telling us that a situation has transformative potential for ourselves and others if we only harness it in a constructive direction.
For its peerless practicality, and its inspiration, we at Metta have always held this up as probably the most important gift of Gandhiji’s legacy: that everything negative about us — and who does not have negative, disruptive drives in our consciousness — can, if we learn how to master it, be “transmuted” into a creative force. Nor is it his experience alone: Martin Luther King Jr. echoed that in his movement they expressed anger under discipline for maximum effect. This is not only an explanation for the uncanny power of nonviolence but a source of unquenchable hope, for ourselves and our world.
Reflect on your experiences with and thoughts about the power of anger.
The Metta Center for Nonviolence, PO Box 98, Petaluma, California 94953 707-774-6299 firstname.lastname@example.org