Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Outrage is the new Significance


People are so devoid of significance in their lives these days that they will look for it anywhere they can find some semblance of it. Today's flavor of "significance" comes in the form of outrage (often faux outrage). You find people outraged about all kinds of things these days. We're commenting on social networking sites, talking in coffee shops, school parking lots, at work, at school, about all the stuff that we should be outraged by. 
"Can you believe this!" 

We share the memes about things we should be outraged by, we TYPE IN ALL CAPS, to show our outrage. It's everywhere! 
And I suppose there are a lot of things that you CAN be outraged by, but isn't it uselessly expended energy? 
It gets you almost no results and doesn't add any significance to your life. I suppose we think that it somehow it might make us socially or politically conscious when we spout off... But we're really not. Our actions prove otherwise... And still no real significance.
If we really measure all the outcomes of the fashionable outrage in this quest for significance, we'll likely find negative ones (With the exception of our friends in Northern Africa, where Internet outrage led to revolution and removal of dictators). It may, in fact, give you a momentary level of faux significance, but because it doesn't last long, you find yourself soon looking for the next thing to show outrage over.
We find that most of our actual outrage results in offending friends, losing friends, being avoided on social networking sites, and nothing really good.
I can't blame people for using the expansive number of methods of communication available to them. I suppose the outrage, helps people feel like they're not sitting idly by as bad things happen. But really you are. In actuality, you're doing worse. Rather than pull people together to combat the negative things you see, you unintentionally (or maybe intentionally) separate.
What's worse is that this momentary feeling of social or political consciousness is so short that you need to find something else to show outrage over. So now you're looking for it....or maybe your FBBFF (Facebook BFF), is posting it and you're joining the party. So instead of looking for good things in life, and things that actually add significance like being involved in the community, volunteering, being active in your kid's school, you're looking for the negative in everything. What a life!
It's hard to be too bothered by this. There are big problems facing us in 2013. And maybe we just feel like there's nothing that we can really do about them. Maybe our social and political impotence, has us so desperate that we think this is "doing something". I also know that many people say "I just don't know what "I can do". I'm so busy with work, and kids, and life.... I get it, me too. 
I'm just telling you, this isn't the way.
Outrage should exist, but only as fuel for you to do good things. Otherwise, it just makes you look angry.
There are lots of ways to feel significant, mostly by showing love, not hate. Show kindness, not anger. Show compassion, not judgement. Show your joy in things to celebrate, not outrage. Let's save outrage for outrageous things.

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