You Can be Filled with Love and Anger at the Same Time

Hey, it’s your favorite vegan, hippie, back at it again, sticking her nose where it doesn’t belong. Let’s just jump right into it. There has been a lot of nasty shiz going on lately. As I’m sure you’ve seen, your favorite internet warriors of peace (guilty myself) take these opportunities to remind us that love does the world a whole lot better than hate. Raise your hand if you’ve seen the MLK quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that,” posted somewhere in the past couple of weeks.

At a surface level, the sentiment makes sense. We should absolutely treat all people with decency, even the really crappy ones. We shouldn’t let their cruelty fill us with a cruelty of our own. We should lift our chins and take the much higher road. Sounds pretty, right?

Here’s my problem. What happens when my anger comes from love? When the ball of fire in my stomach, threatening to spill over is caused by how much I believe in love. I do believe that all people should be treated with decency. When I’m confronted by people who do not share that sentiment, it’s pretty hard not to feel angry.

I’m angry because my heart hurts. I’m angry because every face I see, I love. I can look into the eyes of a person who believes they are superior to all others, toting torches and spewing hate from their lips, and still want them to be a person. Yes, they are cruel and unkind, but it is not my right or my desire to take their personage from them. How can they not feel the same way? While I respect their existence, how can I continue to allow them to spread hate to everything they touch? I can’t just sit in my little corner with a full heart and think that’s enough. I have to reach out and replace the hate with all the love I have to give.

In battles like this, you aren’t fighting because you want to destroy someone you despise. You’re fighting because you want to protect someone that you adore. This doesn’t mean you need to hate your opponents, but it does mean that you need to allow yourself to be angry. It’s a sad reality of battle that you can’t win with flower petals and confetti cannons. You have to go in swinging (metaphorically, of course).

It’s okay to be fired up. It’s better than okay. It’s necessary.

Stay angry, but don’t let it slip into hatred. While I don’t agree with everything our internet vigilantes believe, I do think that your ability to fight in the name of respect for all means you are far too good for hatred. Hatred comes from ignorance and stubborn-mindedness, both things that (if you are still reading at this point) you are not. Be better than the bad guys, but don’t let them get away with it.

Be strong, kind, and pissed off as hell.