What a weapon. My goodness. Arm yourselves, friends. This is a good one.
angry, resentful, mad, infuriated.
Yeah, infuriated. That’s the one.
But.. hah. Anger isn’t really a good thing, is it? It’s kind of painful, and it causes a lot of problems, and it’s also a fair bit scary from time to time. I would assert, however, that being indignant at injustices is a healthy form of anger, and it’s one that I’ve been practicing since the day I first gracelessly flopped out of my crib and incited a territorial rumpus with my dog. Indignancy may be unorthodox, and it may be less common in every day life than in large scale events, but it is an emotion that can light a fire in our souls, and we need that if we ever desire change.
There are plenty, plenty of things out there to be indignant about. Is your metabolism a bit slow, you think? Be indignant not about your genes, but perhaps about the fucked up culture that fostered margarine on you in your youth. Do you constantly crave pastries? Be indignant that this industry exists at all. Most importantly, however: do you ache for the people in your life who suffer, but who don’t know how to fix it? Do you wish desperately you could cure your brother of diabetes? Your husband of fatty liver disease? Your sister of breast cancer? Be indignant about the world that is suppressing them. It suppresses you, and that sucks, but indignancy goes beyond even that. Being indignant is about righteousness, and about making changes, and about garnering enough passion to fight injustice. It’s about the world around you, and parts of the world that really suck, and about feeling a fiery need to fix as much as we can.
And boy, is there a lot of fixing to do.
Being indignant is what compelled me to start this blog. Fuck if I know if I’ve made any difference, but at least I’m trying. Being indignant is what makes people put their names on lists like “first regiment of Lexington, 1776.” And being indignant is how people end up participating in hunger strikes, going to jail, and protesting on college campuses.
So why is it relevant right now?
Because there are a hell of a lot of things to be angry about in this world, specifically, at this moment, the horrific cultures and norms that have given us hormone disorders, autoimmune diseases, and self esteem issues. Sometimes I feel like American culture wants us to be whiny teenagers for our entire lives, given the amount of shit it throws around. Honestly I’m impressed that people don’t fall to pieces more often. We are relisient, regardless of the fact that there is so much out there to be upset about. Or not, perhaps. Look at the alarming rates of depression, anxiety, divorce, and violence out there. That points to an inordinate amount of negativity, for an infinite amount of reasons, and it seems as though we’ve accepted a lot of into our lives as bedfellows. Naturally. Defeatedly. Ugh.
Being indignant, however, channels that pain and that frustration and that burning helplessness into productive action. It is, I passionately assert, a healthy form of anger. When we stop cowering from particular ways in which we’ve been hurt, and stop complaining about them, and instead jump into action to fight for the sake of others, ourselves, and justice, we develop a sense of agency. We gain power over the demons that keep us down. Justice gives us the will to fight. No, I will not pinch my fat in the mirror. I will not buy your products. What you are selling/doing/promoting is wrong, and I hate it, so for the sake of me and every other potential victim out there, I reject you.
Our indignant actions can come in simple forms. Outrightly dismissing advertising, for example. Consider it beneath you. Or go farther: stand up for good health in discussions and stop pretending that you have funny food allergies just to avoid social discomfort (I really am a pot and a kettle on this one, I do it about a hundred times a day.) Or make a list of things you love about your daughter and read them back to her, arguing passionately about why she’s beautiful and worth it and no one is ever going to steal that from her. Take whatever part of the world that hurts you or your loved ones most deeply and refuse it. Deny it. Rule it. Fuck no! What’s going down is not right, and for that reason I will not stand for it.
I once read: “The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” Amen. It breaks my heart so deeply to hear from my readers about their pains and frustrations and the kind of anger that simmers and burns. Instead, I offer indignancy up to you as one avenue into which you can channel those negative emotions. A way to gain power over them. A way to be inspired to soldier on. Eating disorders be damned. I am sick of pain, and I, for one, demand change.
Vive la revolution!Tweet