Anger makes me tired. It’s exhausting to use all that white, hot energy toward something so negative as anger. We all get mad; I do, too. What seems to be different nowadays, though, is an unwillingness to let things go. Let’s discuss.

Take for example the decision about whether to have school, or whether it should be late. Never will the call be right in everyone’s eyes. There will never be a day, unless it’s 75 degrees and sunshine, that we all are of the same mind as to whether it’s time to go to school or not. For one thing, our county has about 16 different climates, it seems, from the Arctic of Ceres to the Tropics of other areas on the same day. Don’t forget the African Sahara in one part of the county while it’s a Vietnamese Monsoon three miles down the road. This is why when school is closed, there is almost invariably at least one person complaining on Facebook. “Why are schools closed today? When I was a kid, we went to school with 8 feet of snow and 75 mile an hour wind, and we are all tougher because of it!” Fast forward to the next time school is two hours late: “Why the heck aren’t schools closed? Don’t these people care about our children?” You can’t please everyone. I get it.

What bothers me, though, is the anger that follows the discontent. It’s not just a random eye roll so often these days, but a lynch mob following it. “How DARE you?? We will have your job!! And I’m getting an attorney!” And hold on tight because in the meantime, I will disparage you and your entire family on Facebook! It’s just meanness.

Where does all this anger come from? WHO has the time and energy for it? I gotta think it has to do with modern times in general, because we have TOO much time. Conveniences have given us all more time, and Daddy always said, an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. We have microwaves and electric heat. We no longer have to start a woodstove just to get a cup of coffee or spend half the year cutting and splitting wood so we can stay warm. We have cars so we can be to Bluefield in 30 minutes; no longer does it require hitching up the horses and an all day trip, if not overnight, as my grandfather made it a couple times a year. And what do we do with all this free time and convenience? Are we being more charitable? Spending our time in Bible study or visiting nursing homes? No, we use this time to badmouth our neighbors and stir the pot of anger and gossip. How fruitful! What a wonderful use of our time and technology!

I’ve seen about enough anger and meanness to last me a lifetime and the more I see the more disgusted I get. I’m not, ironically, getting mad at being mad. I’m more just disappointed and sad about it. I swear its signs of the end times, no joke. People without feeling or conscience, going after one another like predators. Where is the empathy? Where is the patience or forgiveness? And those preaching tolerance seem so intolerant of those who disagree. That’s kinda ironic, ain’t it?

I just wanna go hide at my house. Make the racket go away. Social media and media in general invade our homes with such negativity. I’m seriously considering unplugging for awhile. I consciously notice that the less time I spend on my phone, the happier I am. The more time I am outside, the happier I am. Even when I’m mad at the world myself, just being in the woods or among people (at least some who aren’t furious about something) improves my mood. It’s a lot harder to be hateful when you’re looking in someone’s eyes, as opposed to behind their back or on their Facebook page. Maybe this holiday season we can all just chill the heck out. Take a deep breath and go with the flow. Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals.

A teacher and mother, Meagan Morehead Bradshaw lives on a farm in Bland County; contact her at meaganmorehead123@gmail.com.

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