WASHINGTON May 21, 2012 - Historically, both small and significant changes have started with anger or outrage over an injustice, or a need unmet. People use channels available to them, such as protests, to make their sentiments heard and felt. If that does not work and people know of no other recourse, violence can erupt.
Since the U.S. became an independent nation through protest and violence, this is undoubtedly an effective way to make changes; bloody, but effective.
A persistent protest also leads to change. These changes tend to come by way of the tortoise, taking a generation or two, such as women getting the right to vote. It seems passion, like a river, eventually modifies what it touches, and there may be treacherous whirlpools and rapids along the way.
Gandhi’s nonviolent means of creating change took a few years, but it worked. Though a peaceful movement, it was a slippery slope. Gandhi may have experienced anger, or rage, but he didn’t act it out or incite others to. His love, or compassion for life gave his passion for India’s freedom its direction.
Passionate peace proved to be effective because feelings took a secondary position. Gandhi’s emotions were subservient to his priority of respect for life, the antithesis of acting out of hate.
Much violent change throughout history has been charged with hate, and even if the result is the repression of it, hate leaves a swath of destruction. When hate becomes a tool of right and wrong, its goal is dominance or demolition. Anything not “right” becomes an enemy. Sanctity of life goes out the window.
Feelings of hate, then, are the bee’s knees of change, although hate always plants the seed of itself while it works. Change-by-hate is really more of a continuous violent disturbance; the scenery becomes different and underneath seeds of hate incubate.
No matter how you slice it, emotion is powerful and life is dicey.
Emotions are like people of the opposite sex. It is hard to live with em’ and dull as dirt without em’. Violence is fueled by feeling, but so is creativity. Emotion gives us the experience of loss, and the expansiveness of joy. We might act on emotions and lash out at others, but they also provide a sense of connection and belonging.
Vincent Van Gogh wrote, “Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.” The whole reason for exploring the influence of emotions is so we begin to realize it.
Why bother? Emotions make poor captains. They are the wind billowing out the sails and will take a ship where the wind blows if no one is at the helm.
Depression and bipolar depression feel like an absence of passion. Learn more about symptoms and treatment options at Healthline.com.
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