“I don’t have time. It won’t make any difference. What would my family/boss/co-workers/neighbors think?”
It’s always easy to talk ourselves out of taking action. But if you’re willing for just one day to stop talking yourself out of doing anything about the problems afflicting us all, including you, then this Tuesday, May 1st is the day.
May Day, born in Chicago in 1886 during the push for an 8-hour workday, has become an international holiday honoring workers. This year, the Occupy movement is suggesting and orchestrating protests ranging from quiet, individual acts to mass demonstrations.
So Tuesday, May 1st is when to do it. Here’s how: Get mad.
It shouldn’t be hard. All of us in the 99 percent have been screwed over one way or another, and often more than one way. Anger is the best means of overcoming inertia or hopelessness, which probably is why so many authorities constantly caution us against the “dangers” of anger.
From best-selling authors to preachers in pulpits, those who claim to know what’s best for us warn that anger will hurt us. We must move on, leave it behind, forgive and forget or risk the terrible consequences of a supposedly corrosive, self-destroying emotion.
Even assuming all of these people are well-meaning and sincere, the advice is misguided. In fact, it’s baloney.
Anger is the bedrock of a so-called bad attitude. And throughout human history, people with so-called bad attitudes have propelled some of the biggest advances in society by defying authority and protesting injustice.
Anger surfaces at the moment delusion dies, helping clear the fog of lies, half-truths, wishful thinking, propaganda, denial and conventional wisdom to reveal stark reality.
Anger is the fuel that propels people to act, and to persist in spite of obstacles ranging from ridicule to death threats.
What caused slaves to run away or revolt, women to protest, workers to organize? They were monumentally pissed off and tired of not doing anything about it.
Anger is not to be confused with rage, bitterness or hatred. As energy, it is best used when cool and harnessed to a thoughtful plan of action, instead of letting it drive you to lash out in a heated reaction of the moment.
So get mad and don’t let anyone try to talk you out of your anger. Plan how you want to act on it.
You might be surprised, afterward, by how much better you feel. Isn’t that reason enough?
Here’s a link to suggestions on how to spend your May Day 2012: http://www.occupytogether.org/