RighteousRage

The Sunday New York Times Magazine of 16 January 2000 carried a short Q&A (by David Rakoff) with Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. One key exchange:

[Q:] You've been quoted as saying that bitterness will consume its own vessel. After one of the recent school shootings, the very next day the kids who had survived posted a sign saying, "We forgive you." And I thought, "Well, that seems a little premature." So tell me, is there a difference between bitterness and wholly justified anger?

[Carter:] "They're the same thing. Gas will fill a chamber evenly and completely no matter what the chamber is and no matter how small the quantity of gas. And that's what suffering does, is fill the human soul and the human psyche evenly and completely. So once you're in a state of anger you can be angry at anything. You can't sleep, you can't eat, you can't walk, you can't talk. And you cannot forgive anybody until you first forgive yourself."

Is anger ever appropriate? Or is it a perversion of emotions such as frustration and fear? Can people learn to control rage, the way they control other urges in polite society? Should one get angry at injustice? (Is most injustice caused by anger?) Does getting mad ever cause good to happen which couldn't have been achieved through better means?

Tuesday, January 25, 2000 at 11:57:56 (EST) = 2000-01-25

TopicStoicism - TopicJustice


(correlates: MovementForeAndAft, ReallyGreat, NorthwestBranchMemories, ...)

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