The Anger Machine


What’s going on? Have we all gone mad? Well, anyway, the stage is set. A young man who grew up in California traveled to Pakistan to take part in training and served as a translator in order that the jihad against the United States might be successful. The Republicans are angrily blocking any kind of legislation that the Democrats propose bringing our system to a halt. Another man who was very upset and angry about his tax situation set fire to his home before climbing into his plane and flying it into the building that housed IRS agents and killing himself in the process. A Republican Senator single-handedly stopped legislation aimed at providing extended benefits for the unemployed and gave reporters the finger as they tried questioning him about his actions. Then there’s the man whose parents had warned police that he could be armed and dangerous with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder and shot two policemen in the D.C. area before being gunned down himself. There was even the report of Tiger Woods’ conflict with his wife around extramarital affairs that he was reported having encountered.

Are these types of situations becoming more common or is the press making more of the problem than there really is? I believe it is the former. If you go to the internet and Google “anger management” you will be put in touch with a whole slew of different sites that offer services to help curb anger patterns. I’ve been offering anger management seminars since the mid-80s because I saw the pattern developing back then as well. I guess the real question is whether all of this does any good. Well, yes it CAN if the recipient is open to finding new ways of dealing with his or her anger. The problem, though, is that anger is being fed by the actions of some of our leaders in whom we placed trust that tend to betray that trust. I have received numerous e-mails suggesting that we should create a “clean slate” by voting those people out of office and starting over. I don’t know if that is possible but the drastic solution is an angry and drastic reaction to a drastic problem and not just with respect to elected officials. It seems to be occurring in many different areas of our lives as well.

Many years ago I coined the saying that “skirts can only go two ways: up or down.” By that I mean that it isn’t unusual for history to repeat itself. In the area of anger, I believe that the main problem has to do with our values and mores … what we believe to be good and true for the majority of people. Over the years, there have been some rather drastic changes in what we hold to be certain values in our system of beliefs. The old values were deemed to be too drastic or severe and were replaced with more relaxed versions that sent us to the other side of the spectrum. I believe that the answer lies somewhere between those two extremes and that people are presently trying to find that balance point. It’s going to be difficult but I believe that we, as a society, will accomplish that. We may have to go through some drastic changes and rebellions in order to achieve it but I believe that it will come in time. The real question is whether we will have the patience to wait until it happens. The essential key will be that each individual finds his and her own sense of balance which then will spread to the more universal point of affecting balance in our society. Balance is the key to dealing with stress and with life itself. It’s your choice.

Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at

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