We will all likely experience rage and despair at some time in our lives. I am writing this now for my American friends.
Rage and despair tend to be total experiences.
Rage is more than anger. It wants the object of the rage to be totally gone, obliterated, not around any more.
Despair is more than sadness. It sees no hope, not anywhere.
Which means that rage and despair can be very hard to deal with. They are the whole of our world for a time.
But there is a whole world outside our despair and rage. There is a time before and very likely there will be a time after.
And perhaps the easiest way to know this is to focus on something small.
I can’t change the whole world, but: I can join an organisation, help a friend, make my lifestyle a little more sustainable.
Rage and despair aren’t wrong. They are important information that we see something very wrong. And wanting to do something about this is very good. And we need to be intelligent about what we do, so that we don’t make things worse but better.
It is good to listen to our rage and despair. Until we know what it is we want to do. It may well be radical – and the first step on the radical path may seem very small to an outside observer. And it will be easier and more enjoyable if you have others who understand your concern and even are willing to support what you are doing. Friends on the journey make the travelling easier. So, consider sharing your concerns and ideas with those you think are likely to listen to you.
1, Find a way to listen to your rage and despair.
Write in a journal. Express it through some kind of art. Talk to others who will be able to hear. Gradually you will find clarity. And then you can act with some sense of where you are heading and what you want to achieve.
2. Consider talking to others, joining with them and learning more.
3. Find one or more things you can do regularly in response to your rage and despair.
It may be a spiritual practise. (Meditate on or pray about the beauty you can see around you and how it is being destroyed.)
Write a letter each day, or once a week. Sign online petitions.
Talk to one person each day about what you care about and why.
Go to a regular meeting of an organisation working on what you care about.
There are difficult times ahead. We will need to develop habits, connections and lifestyles that will help us channel our rage and despair to create a better world.
I'm Evan Hadkins. I'm Evan Hadkins. To find out how to live a more satisfying life you can download my manifesto on living authentically. It is a book of exercises to guide you to finding, nourishing and living from the core of who you are.
If you would like me to write about some aspect of living an authentic life please don’t hesitate to get in touch. There is a box in the sidebar where you can leave a question anonymously if you wish, or you can email me, use the contact page, or comment on this post.