Redirect Your Anger

June 26, 2012

Can we achieve "Peace in our times" at least in our own lives? Can we become calm and easy going? So many of us wish for this but the truth is very few will ever achieve it, it is truly a task that one works on their entire life.

I believe I am on the right path, but of course still on the journey. I have been privileged to have had many good guides along the way, people of great wisdom and insight. I believe we are "provided" with such guides throughout our lives, the question is – do we take the time to listen to them? Or do we choose to ignore them, and not "waste" our time?

Often times we look at a crime, or an act of violence or hatred, and we try to understand the perpetrator, the one who committed this terrible act. We say we understand his or her anger. They had it tough so they took this anger and acted out, they had to have that release; we are told we must understand them and not "judge" them.

I believe this is misguided advice. We all have anger; the question is what do we do with it. In the Bible the angel of God appears to Gideon and wants to recruit him to fight the battles of Israel. Gideon is angry with God and says, "We have heard so much about Him and His great deeds, but where is He now?!" Gideon was frustrated by Israel's situation; attacked by enemies, taxed by oppressors, pushed to the limit with endless troubles. Sure he was angry, Gideon had every right to be angry, and he was angry with God. So the angel says, "Take this anger and go redeem Israel."

Anger is Energy - Use it

What the angel is telling Gideon, and all of us in all generations, is "You are angry, you have a right to be angry, I understand. This, however, does not justify a life of crime or laziness or being a welfare case. No! Take this anger, for anger is energy, take this anger and fight for your people, fight the battles of Israel. We need you."

We are being told; take your anger and frustration and redirect it to something productive. Don't give up; don't grab a beer and a pizza and lie down on the couch. Grab your workout gear and go to the gym, train harder in Krav Maga, hit the bag, do push ups, be proactive. Channel your anger to something productive and you will feel better.

Over the course of my travels, I have met many who were once in gangs, even in prison, today they have redirected their energy and are helping others, they are guiding others. I have met people who grew up without a father, without anyone to help them, and they are now hard working productive people. Others in their situations, even others in their own families, are in prison. But they have made a choice, they have redirected their anger, and they are benefiting every day from this choice.

I have anger too. When I travel around Europe, I think to myself, this was the graveyard of my people, here we were murdered, gassed and burnt simply for our faith, for our "race". I have stood at Babi Yar and other places where our people breathed their last. This is an anger that will never die but I try to channel it into productive activities; be a better instructor, improve your Krav Maga, offer people a helping hand, a wider smile. Bring peace to the world; try to heal a shattered world. Every smile, every handshake helps bring peace. Every act of kindness has a ripple effect in the world.

It is easy to be angry; it is difficult to redirect that anger.