The Good Fight

TvlA4iu0QPinzH73TPpYigI don’t usually pay much attention to Facebook memes, but I saw one a few years ago that really spoke to me.  It was a quote from Mary Anne Radmacher that read, “Courage does not always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.'”  I think I remembered that quote because I found a lot of wisdom in her words, and some much-needed encouragement as well.

We live in a world where it is almost impossible to escape from the constant roar of angry voices around us.  It comes at us from all angles:  social media, the daily news, even conversations with friends and acquaintances.  And of course there is much in this world to provoke our anger, and many injustices that need to be corrected and many problems that need to be solved.  There never has been, or probably never will be, any shortage of things to be angry about, in either our personal lives or in the society we live in.  But the problem is, simply expressing our anger isn’t actually going to fix a thing.

It’s easy to point out injustices and issues, and speak out against them, loudly and frequently.  Nothing could be simpler than to point the finger of blame and to ridicule and demonize those who look at things a bit differently.  And few things are more comfortable than surrounding ourselves in a cloak of self-righteous, moral superiority.  Which is exactly why we all behave that way once in a while, and why some of us seem to get stuck in that mode.  Sadly, venting can become a habit and anger tends to breed even more anger.

But actually correcting injustices and solving problems requires so much more than simply speaking out.  It also requires a whole lot of hard work and sustained effort.  It often means we have to make some personal sacrifices, and it usually means that we have to be in dialogue with, and sometimes even work with, the very people who made us angry in the first place.  But mostly, fixing long-term and complex problems requires a whole lot of patience and persistence.

Like most people, I prefer quick and easy to solutions to the problems I face, both in my personal life and in the world around me.  But real life rarely works that way.  Which means that sometimes I’m going to feel so frustrated and discouraged that I just want to either lash out in anger or simply throw up my hands and walk away in despair.  Yet that is exactly the time when I need to dig down deep in myself and find the strength to carry on, moving forward with patience, an open mind, and the quiet resolve to make things better.

In other words, I have to find the courage to “try again tomorrow.”

62 thoughts on “The Good Fight

  1. What a timely post. You are so right, simply being angry or sad will get us nowhere. One can start by writing their elected representatives. I’ve written my senators to express displeasure with their silence regarding our leaders’ latest words.
    Finding a way for all of us to come together to put in the hard work of fixing things is indeed a challenge. Sometimes I would just rather hide than hear the latest news.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think sometimes we all just want to hide! And taking a brief break from the news isn’t a bad thing. We just need to keep doing the best we can, as often as we can, to do the work that brings about a change for the good. And that really does mean working with people we don’t always agree with. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It really does! Sometimes change doesn’t come as quickly as we want, and we often take two steps forward and one step backwards. The important thing is that we are actively trying to solve problems and resolve our issues, I think. Thanks for the comment, Kathy!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It is a lot easier to complain than step up with a solution. It is hard to believe, but the world is a better place than it was in the beginning of our lives. Maybe all the complaining does make someone (or the population) find the solution.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s a good point. Sometimes we get so lost in the constant negativity and anger that we lose sight of the important steps forward we have made. And that just contributes to feelings of anger and despair, so it’s a good thing to look at the “big picture!”

      Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a healthy attitude, and one that I’m working on. Because you’re right, there is no point in stressing over things we absolutely can’t control. And I truly believe that if we all worked on the issues/problems that we can control, the world would be a better place. We don’t have to take on absolutely everything!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re so right Ann, merely fuelling the anger doesn’t benefit anyone. Change needs engagement and action so unless we have some solutions maybe we need to express our anger in a more healthy manner. Write to representatives, lobby, lessen our own carbon footprint …

    Be part of the solution, don’t add fuel to the fire!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. After I read your well written post, a thought flashed across my mind, which I had once expressed in one of the Wednesday’s Photos post. The message I received then from Nature was so remarkably related to your message today that I want to share it with you. “Bending without Breaking” When dealing with problems we are encouraged to deal lovingly even with our opponents. Lashing out against them, only adds more oil to the fire. “Bending without Breaking” means to me that I have to be flexible without giving up my own precious identity and strive for tolerance in this so intolerant world. There is a lot of food for thought from your post today, Ann. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

    • I love that phrase! It reminds us that we can compromise in order to resolve issues, and yet still remain loyal to our core values. I wish more people would do that…it seems as if we are sometimes actually encouraged to attack and despise each other, and that only brings disastrous results. Thanks for your kind comment, Peter, it is very much appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Many times, the things people do which stoke my dark fires serve to illuminate my own weaknesses. When I am faced with selfishness, injustice and callousness, I can be provoked to great anger. That anger isn’t always good, I find.

    But when what hurts me drives me to help others suffering in the same way, my anger is purified, it no longer consumes me because I’ve converted it into something far better.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I am, too! I can’t really just complain about a problem without trying to do something to solve it. It actually makes me depressed. And I agree, we live in odd times…as I said in another comment, it is as if we are encouraged to hate each other! Nothing good comes of that!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. You know, ordinary life can be so difficult to navigate. Finding fulfilling work and activities, maintaining loving relationships, being a decent and honest person, etc. — it takes any number of qualities, including courage, to try to make it all work.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree, Neil. Sometimes just doing the things that we need to do takes a certain amount of courage. Honestly, I think some of the true heroes are the ones we never hear about: the people who just go about their jobs on a daily basis, taking care of their families and those around them, day in and day out.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. As our problems get more complex, and the times we’re living in become ever more bewildering, what good advice it is to recognize the quiet courage of persisting from day to day. Like water in a canyon, enough of us standing up for what’s right will eventually overcome the obstacles. Thanks for the reminder, Ann.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I can totally understand how we can feel like we can’t seem to combat these huge issues attacking us each day. The modern platforms seem to encourage such behavior and also the feelings we have to be angry or helpless. You are right Ann, remaining focused on what each of us can do helps. Be kind to others, be kind to animals, nature, and to ourselves.
    This week my cure was knitting, kayaking, biking. I was surprised when tired yesterday after a long bike ride that several people just said “hello” to me. Shocking, even more so when a lady had an entire conversation with me even after she figured out I was an English speaker. Yes, when you come from somewhere else it always follows you even if you “look” like them.
    Be kind people.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! And I know what you mean. There are times when I feel like giving up, and there are times when I lash out….which makes me very ashamed afterwards. It does take courage and strength to just keep on trying to help in a patient and tolerant way. I think all we can do is our best, and ask for forgiveness when we slip up.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Media plays a huge role in this! Reading depressing headlines everyday always makes the mind negative and hate-filled. Then again who can we blame? If we tried doing instead of just speaking, maybe there wouldn’t be so much to be angry about. I loved the way you wrote everything concisely, it made the point!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your kind words! And I agree about the role of media. It often does seem designed to keep us fearful and/or angry. But you are right, the media can’t manipulate us unless we allow it to. We need to think for ourselves and follow our own hearts. We can use the media for information, but only we get to decide what we’re going to do with that information. And we need to choose kind and positive actions whenever possible, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. “…it usually means that we have to be in dialogue with, and sometimes even work with, the very people who made us angry in the first place.”

    Ye, yes, a thousand times yes. And still I forget this nugget. I remain silent, I hide. I prepare for the face-to-face, I do, I know it needs to happen. But first, I imagine the conversations and then the initial conflict morphs into nuclear war. And you know what happens in a nuclear war, right? Total and complete annihilation.

    Eventually, I do find the courage and I do have the dialogue. And you know what? In every instance – no atom bombs. No mushroom clouds. And usually, resolution.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Maggie, for providing such a great example of the point I was trying to make! Our “enemies” are rarely as bad as we think they are. And we rarely have the ability to enact any real change all by ourselves. Sometimes we have to deal with (in a respectful way) people who have very different ideas from us, and whose actions we deplore in order to actually solve a problem. And as you so aptly pointed out, usually those interactions go so much better than we had anticipated. We may have different ideas and beliefs, but I firmly believe that most human beings have far more in common than we realize!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You’re right, it’s not too difficult to be just another angry voice adding to all the noise. You brought up some great ideas that would help make the world a better place, as opposed to simply venting on social media. Making positive changes does take patience and open-mindedness. It’s an important message and you stated it so well. Thank-you, Ann! Des

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Des! I wasn’t at all sure I was being clear about what I was trying to say, so it’s good to know that the message hit home. And I see so many people who are stuck in that “angry venting” or “self-righteously indignant” mode that it makes me very sad. If they channeled that energy into actively working toward resolutions, they could do so much good!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Wise and understanding words! I think sometimes (often) I am the person who is causing someone else to bite down their anger and offer kindness in the face of sheer stubborn lack of understanding. And i am grateful for their forbearance and forgiveness.
    As you say, tomorrow is another day, and we try again tomorrow. And tomorrow, may I have an opportunity to wear a different hat…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I loved the name of your post, ‘A Good Fight’. It is a fight to stay courageous in the face of so many things that make us angry. People become depressed, overwhelmed, and allow a feeling of helplessness to take over their lives. We cannot, as you say, fix all the problems of the world. We do not have to become problems ourselves however; relentless blaming and complaining changes nothing and makes other people even more miserable. It is worth the fight to maintain the good we can bring to every situation…our very best selves, and a positive outlook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Linda! And I liked the way you put that, “we do not have to become problems ourselves!” It does seem to me that when we get overwhelmed and quit, or angry and lash out, then we’re actually contributing to the problem rather than helping anyone or anything. As you say, the real fight is to always bring our best selves and to keep a positive outlook as we move forward!

      Like

  14. Amazing work!! this particular blog moves me so much and inspires me to write more..Surely need your advice in writing as I am the beginner in this field. Thankyou

    Like

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