Cliff Wright – Why Anger Alone is Insufficient, Part 2 of 2

Anger Alone Is Not Enough

Anger Alone Is Not Enough

Anger alone is not sufficient to create change. It needs to be focused purposefully and strategically employed.

When you study the movements that have actually changed conditions and circumstances, you find outrage that becomes focused action, based on principles, values, and a clear actionable vision of the future, not anger alone.

How Anger Alone Becomes A Movement

People become a movement that finds its voice.  Finding that voice, and using it purposefully, profoundly is the point and within the context of recovery, one of the surest signs of life after illness and loss.

Then, using that voice to inspire others becomes the next and most powerful thing that can be done.  Then, and only then, can a movement actually happen.

This is both the point and the natural progression.

Many of the struggles facing consumers can be traced to the fact that they have no powerful or effective voice, no real say in the matters that affect them most, no seat at the table, no decision-making role, no veto power, no vote, and only, in many instances, symbolic “participation.”

They have not organized themselves sufficiently to really meet the full dimensions and gravity of the tragic circumstances this community faces.

Consumers have little to no voice, a whimper not a scream.

What Do I Stand For Beside Anger Alone

The starting place is coming to terms with what’s really happening, honestly, raw and unabridged. It’s about facing the facts, the pain, injustice, suffering, the horror of it all.  And it’s about seeing it clearly, with blinders,  filters, and fears removed.

It’s also about looking at oneself and asking who am I in this?  What do I stand for?  What am I commited to? What do I value? What are my principles and principled position in this? What is my vision for the future?  And what am I willing and able to contribute?

If you set out to do heavy lifting, two things dictate your actions:  the amount of weight you intend to lift, and your strength, or more accurately, your willingness to marshal the strength needed to lift that weight.  The weight dictates the effort required, not the lifter.

Finding one’s voice and using it to inspire others is heavy, heavy lifting especially within the context of consumers survival and thriving. herding cats,  lobbying Congress and creating viable solutions is heady, heavy stuff that can’t be done unless these first steps are taken. Where there is no vision the people perish. When you have no voice, you will not be heard.

“Silence is death.”

What do you stand for other than anger alone?

Cliff Wright

Wordworks Blog Author: Clif Wright

Clif Wright was one of the founding board members of a worldwide campaign to end Hunger. He and many other campaigners have helped to cut the number of deaths by starvation worldwide in half over the last 20 years, even as the global population has grown. Clif is a board member of Wellness Wordworks and a very passionate support of mental health entrepreneurship.

2 comments to Cliff Wright – Why Anger Alone is Insufficient, Part 2 of 2

  • Chris Foulke

    Here, here Clif! As author of the former essay, I feel that the biggest problem today is not people inappropriately expressing their anger, or frustration, or legitimate gripes, but not expressing anything because they feel it is not appropriate, that we have to have an obligatory grin and textbook positive attitude as we are being excluded, drugged, quietly cheated, or sidelined, minimized. Good consumers

    It is not so intellectual for most. They know that the ‘solution’ being foisted on them is a false choice between nothing and being excluded and taking that drug the doc wants you to have to justify his time with you.

    Something like 1/2-4/5 of costs in ‘Mental Health’ go to drugs and med management–the doctor’s time while 10% of ‘health outcomes’ are now being attributed to the medical system (mislabelled as ‘Health Care’ I call it “Wealth Care” for those in the system).

    That’s according to our allopathic governor’s assistant in ‘health care transformation’ a process which is still far short of substantial reform, more of an expansion and consolidation of HMO’s lock on the system within the western medical system at this point. You have to ask where is the money going to?

    A few low-paid new job categories won’t change a whole lot if the medical monopoly and drug-dominated ‘wealth care system’ is not opened up to real choice, wide inclusion, and alternatives which work better, are cheaper, and much, much safer overall. Patients and consumers are quite far down the line, probably 5th to 7th.

    I wasn’t able to develop how I really could have and to be who I could be. I was always naturally friendly, loving and compassionate, but grew up where anger was not expressed or an acceptable emotion except in rare instances. Overall, that is good since it challenges one to develop positive routes of expression that fit in to established modes, such as school, sports, social activities, creative pursuits, etc. Yet I know it is important to also have heart-to-heart honest communication with other people in our lives, and ourselves, including the expression of anger along with the 100 or 1,000 other emotions we carry.

    Excuse me if I seemed to dwell a little on anger, but it is an appropritate emotion and we should not cut ourselves off from our root feelings. Some call it ‘the dark side’. I’d say they are basic emotions that we carry or feel, not always in large, active form but sometimes in milliseconds of small frustration, or getting pissed off at some thing we are doing that doesnt want to work.

    I found out early that in fixing things I often need to get mad and then do what my body naturally knows or feels and VOILA! the screw turns! the part fits in! It is taking us beyond our scripted, conscious mind into the zone of anger and automatic action, where our base man knows stuff we didn’t! Don’t be afraid of it! Don’t hit anyone or do violence to any creature but routine everyday frustration and anger can infuse and empower our lives with color and resolution. Just watch the result! Watch it.

    I know some folks in behavioral health who have no problem being appropriate and expressing pointed disgruntlement or some form of anger. Most of my communication is not about anger but delineating the problems and potentials for major improvement and health enhancing effects of what we eat and drink, a very positive thing.

    Yet when I look at the broader sweep of the drug-dominated medical system that is not anywhere near producing or even substantially studying how to produce health or ameliorate disease (it’s supposed goal), and being from a medical family, it makes me very upset and also angry as I realize that I as natural provider of nutrition-based therapy am being excluded and discriminated by this system for no good reason at all, much like Black people, Hispanics, gays, women, and ethnic minorities are excluded from inner circles, opportunity, money for loans, or peace of mind.

    Natural providers of various sorts are not even allowed ‘on the bus’ of health care yet except in small ways or not at all. We’re not mentioned, included, paid for, or really recognized. Our professions are dirty words to many doctors. Nutrition is perhaps the ‘ultimate dirty word’

    Many doctors are taught not to say it or recognzie it at anything really important–just eat 3 squares and take your meds! Having had a upper-middle class upbringing but then being devastated by the process of being medicated for what was probably celiac disease or some other readily remedied nutritional problem, I now realize that a large portion of my productive life was altered and affected by the fraud-based chemical companies we call pharmaceuticals.

    This is a legitimate thing for me to think or feel, although I do not dwell on it since there are so many good and important things going on right now and we must spread the good word to folks.

    The title of this essay is not the gist or substance of who i am and I was surprised to even see it, since I don’t remember writing it on this website but it is OK to use it as grist for the mill of improving our condition and developing more effective skills for expressing ourselves, collaborating with others, and building positive change.

    Thanks Clif Wright for putting words to so many wise, basic, and important ideas! Ironically, I think we agree on much more that the titles to these 2 essays would indicate.

    My question to people is: How Are You Doing? Are You Getting Your Needs Met and Making Progress? Choice and freedom to take whatever path we want in our lives (that does not adversely impact others) is key, but we need to go beyond that to look at our ecological interface with the living earth and how we impact the systems we rely on for everything we are.

    The most elemental shortcoming of man is arrogance–that we are somehow higher, better, or more intelligent than other creatures who live in harmony with the earth, on a lower level that does not consume so many other species that they threaten the entire web as man.

    Behind my infrequent angry feelings is a deep concern and more often, a a deep or sometimes overwhelming sadness that is not explainable, it comes like the wind and rain, it blows in, I feel it, the ocean runs through my eyes, and I feel deep identification with others of all sorts who do good things or who sufffer–I am concerned that the medications dull these innate feelings and abilities to express and identify more fully with ourself and others–

    In MH as you know we are called ‘consumers’, who are advised to be medication compliant. My doctor, who I respect in some ways, at the very end of my tenure as a ‘client’, wrote something to SSA about me being ‘compliant’ as if that is the be all, end all of the drug therapy that is his trade, his reason for being in HC.

    The most important thing for them to know was that I was ‘COMPLIANT’ actually in a greater sense,that is not breaking out against the allopathic suppressive system in some way. Now that’s not so true. His words are understanable because it probably means, this person is able to be medicated so they represent no danger–to what? To those who profit form our sickness and take our productive lives away at a very early age? This is an outrage that we should be upset and/or angry about.

    A man who cannot be angry is not normal. Formerly, I repressed all anger, was not even aware of its presence, though a couple people wondered if I would be break out in angry at some time. Medications can change, dull, emasculate, or alter our personalities. Everything physiological and environmental affects us whether we realize it or not.

    The big fields that will revolutionize health care are alternative. Drugs are a dead end overall and must be exposed for the fraud that most of them are. Can you distill the most basic, important human needs down to a weird chemical in a cellulose cover? Some help. They’re a quick solution like herbicides and pesticides or spanking your child rather than setting a good example and exhibiting better behavior.

    I know some people will swear bythem but then, how many have really had the opportunity to try other options provided by professional practitioners ongoing for many years? Very few! Trying a few vitamins is not doing nutritional therapy effectively.

    In the nutritional route, you need guidance as in many other areas of crucial practice that require knowledge, experience, continuing education, scientific insight, personal discovery, and (usually) not only being qualified, but paid-for or affordable for people to access as providers.

    Many ‘consumers’ are low-income and maybe without a computer or the education to know how to even get started and make much of any progress at all. the field of nutrition is rife with misiinformation, incomplete understanding, and fads, such as the fellow on dr. Oz who recommended people drink 300 mg of coffee per day. I wonder who paid for the study he was quoting?

    I should stop here. we need to talk to each other face-to-face more. I personally don’t like facebook. I prefer to talk face-to-face and read books! I get good, quality, up-to-date info from books, physical books not just computers where we expose oursleves to all these electrical fields (and other unhealthy influences) that can potentially affect in our bodies and organ systems, and do.

    Health is of the essence–it is based on what we eat, drink, breathe, think, feel, how we live our lives, who we associate with, what opportunities we have, and whether we put out the effort to take advantage of opportunities floating by.

    In closing I would say that energy comes from MOVEMENT, from doing things, good things; real things; connecting with others; expressing ourselves respectfully, creatively, and appropriate to a situation, not being afraid to be honest with ourselves and others, owning our own stuff; and moving our physical bodies plus exercising our brains!

    Go Get Em Guys and Gals!
    (a little encouragement from an ex-marathon runner and triathlete!)

  • Chris Foulke

    Could you please title the above essay,

    ‘Meds Don’t Work: Transforming Our Lives Through Being Honest, Active, and Creative Rather Than Quiet & Compliant’

    rather than something about anger, which is not really a big part of my message. thank you