Lance Scranton: Why are people so angry?
It didn’t take long for the New Year “mad bomb” to go off. The news is full of people and groups who are mad and we all know that anger has no respect for New Year’s resolutions. A group in Oregon is proposing that the federal government needs to change its thinking on matters with regard to how ranchers manage the land they use. Groups concerned with police shootings and how colleges teach are also mad and have taken to the streets (and social media) to make their case.
Through all the madness, a recurring theme is evident as these groups vocalize their concerns to whomever will listen. So many people are disappointed in other people who make up the people who are supposed to show people what to do and protect people from other people. So, I don’t think we have a national anger issue as much as a people problem. People have been around for a long time and have been letting other people down since the beginning of recorded history.
Three words come to mind as I watch the world around me.
Control. People overestimate their ability to be in control of things and when something doesn’t work out — they get upset. It seems as though there is a direct relationship between the amount of money people have and how much control they think they have. The more money, the more anger. Take a look at politicians — the richer they get, the angrier they become.
Expectations. People’s expectations of other people are too high. Being realistic about others actions would surely help us avoid so much anger. Do you really think that people won’t disappoint you at some point? We all know deep down inside it is a reality but we persist in getting angry when we do what is right and expect others to do the same. It just doesn’t work this way, at least not all the time.
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Preparation. If we would simply prepare ourselves for the reality that confronts us each and every day, we would be much happier. No matter if you vote Democrat or Republican, they’ll do something to disappoint and you’ll find yourself getting upset. Instead you might just prepare yourself for the fact that they are people too and are going to let you down.
You might accuse me of giving up or being way too hard on people but experience is surely a great teacher and if you want to be happier then try the following this year: Quit thinking you can control everything, lower your expectations of people and prepare yourself for the realities of life.
I’ll never give up on people but I think in 2016, I might just try to be a little more rational about what I expect from humanity. Look around you and realize that we would all be much better off if we gave each other a break and accept the human condition. Even when we’re disappointed, we can still find happiness in all of the madness that goes on around us everyday.
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Twenty years into coaching track and cross country, head coach Todd Trapp said that new runners and different team dynamics keep him coming back year after year.