How can anger last so long?
I was let go from my job in 2014. It was unexpected, I was given no warning. None. Budget cuts, my two titles (three, technically) were being assigned to two other people who I knew for a fact already had too much to do with their current responsibilities.
One minute, working. Next moment, jobless. Set adrift by people I trusted, respected as superiors, considered upright and well-meaning.
They may as well have broken my arm for the pain they dealt me. For the feeling of uselessness I was left with.
In the short meeting where I was informed of my termination, it was mentioned I could collect unemployment because of the manner of the separation. Way to kick a proud man when he's down, eh?
They paid out the two-ish weeks of vacation I still had. I'd have rather had the two weeks to transition out of my job, to communicate with the security staff I had hired and directed. To say goodbye to students and co-workers. To let people know it was budget cuts and not something I'd done.
What I got was time to pack up my office. My lieutenant, who they'd told earlier and made him keep it to himself, sent to... observe?... my departure.
How can anger last so long? How can I still be so angry, in an instant, about an incident two years ago? Is it pride? Righteous indignation? Weakness of character?
Perhaps it is a character flaw indeed. I still get angry when I think about Bosco sidestepping direct questions when we met to discuss Humans vs Zombies being banned from campus. In a single sweep, that man washed away what could have been my legacy at K-State, an institution which could have reached a thousand students by now, but instead it was crushed.
Why is anger so easy? Can I call up love so easily? I like to think I can, but it isn't the same fierceness of feeling.
I do my best to restrict my anger to those moments where a wrong truly occurred. I don't sit and stew over a bad driver I encountered or a small insult. It is life-changing moments upon which I stumble backwards, tripping, as they say, on these moments when my reality was betrayed.
Perhaps the anger is useful. I know I would never treat others as I have been treated, because I clearly remember and continue to feel the damage inflicted.
So there may our anger lie, as a reminder to treat others with the respect they deserve, to honor the trust placed in authority, and to handle with care the pride of a man in pain.
Because I must,
"Anybody can become angry - that is easy. But to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way - that is not within everybody's power and is not easy." - Aristotle, The Art of Rhetoric.