TED Conversations

Gogo della Luna

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Today a 12 years old has asked me: "A lot of people seem to be very angry. Is anger useful?" This made me think: can anger be positive?

There are some linguistic terms that are born negative but maybe have a tiny streak of positiveness in them. My young friend's question made me wonder...

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  • Feb 5 2013: Very good responses to your profound question!

    I notice a very high percent of TED conversations---questions, ideas, and debate topics involve human relationships. Your 12 year old acquaintance wonders why people are angry. That is a topic for a conversation in itself!! "Can anger be positive?" Yes, if controlled. Righteous indignation is useful when it propels people to act for change for what they see is needed improvement. This can be positive. Self restraint and living a life of masterful modeling moves humankind to higher quality civility. Dangerous anger can take us the opposite direction.

    So a conclusion could be that getting angry over the right things at the right time with enough people can result in positive change. How would we know what is right? Only fools would willingly follow another fool. Therefore discretion, honest assessment, and patience while being angry over a situation or condition would more likely be positive and beneficial. Being a "hot head" leans more to foolishness than righteous respect and measured responses to others involved.

    Keep thinking!

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