How to use your anger to fight with LOVE
Anger is good fuel for the fight, but it doesn’t last.
Sometimes when an injustice is too great, it can be easy to use whatever motivation calls on your heart to dive headfirst into the fight against it. If a house is on fire, it doesn’t matter if you are a trained fireman or just a regular passerby with a bucket of water - everyone who can help, should. However, if we are looking to fight the long-term battle without burning out or losing hope, we have to check our motivations first. Rather than coming from a place of anger, hatred or even despair, our desire to fight for justice should come from a place of love.
I spent a long time being very angry - at injustice, at people who hurt other people, and at the world in general. Anger is good fuel for the fight, but it doesn’t last. Anger moves you to action against perpetrators of injustice; it drives you to attempt to force right in the place of wrong, to turn the world upside down into how things are supposed to be. But anger robs you of grace, of hope, and of the thing that gives you a vision of what you are actually fighting for. Love, rather than anger, will actually allow you to walk in the daily desire to see the world in its potential to be a beautiful place of justice.
“Love, rather than anger, will actually allow you to walk in the daily desire to see the world in its potential to be a beautiful place of justice.”
When we love big, it’s painful to see others hurting. It becomes difficult to live in a world where things don’t happen like they should. But because we love, we can see a vision of Earth as it should be - all people able to flourish freely and able to step into the people they were made to be. I would rather fight for love than fight for anger. And this vision is what helps bring us back when we forget what it is we’re fighting for. Imagine with me for a moment what a world ruled by love might look like. There would be no mistreatment of anyone, because love leaves no room for anything besides that which affirms goodness.
Even though it’s easy to get angry at the bad people of this world, that kind of living will burn you out eventually. In my experience, fighting because I’m angry leaves me exhausted. When I first found out about human trafficking, I was absolutely livid. I started telling everyone I knew about it; I was irritated at anyone who could go on with their daily lives while there was still slavery happening somewhere. I was so mad that I wanted to go out and fix it all myself, kicking down as many brothel doors as I needed to until every perpetrator was in jail and every slave made free. I was fueled entirely by anger and was hungry for immediate justice.
Although this came from a good place, my heart of anger left me feeling powerless. Since I didn’t feel like there was anything I could do, all I was left with was a ball of anger inside my chest. It took me a little while to learn that my motivations would have to change if I was going to be able to keep up a passion, a fire, and a desire for justice that would actually be worth anything. I also wanted to fight a fight that would last, rather than burning out and giving up after my fuel ran out. Upon reflection, I realized it was love that was actually striking a chord in my heart. Love for people that aren’t being treated with respect and given dignity. Love for justice and goodness in the world. An imagination of how beautiful this world could be if we only decided to treat each other with love first and let everything else follow. Love, unlike anger, will never burn out. It lights a softer fire in my soul that still urges me to fight but gives me something good to fight for. There are too many angry people in the world already - what the world needs are individuals who love well. Something as simple as that could transform the entire globe.
Love, unlike anger, will never burn out.
If you are angry at the way the world is, that’s okay. But I urge you to check that anger and see if there might be something stronger and more powerful that could guide you in the fight against injustice. The goal is to get to a place where all people are free to live autonomous lives, flourishing in all the beautiful goodness that they are capable of. This world is only something we can get to if we all choose to love each other well and let love guide our path.
About the Author
Mallory Mishler is a Michigander, studying Women’s and Gender Studies and Peace and Justice. She is passionate about using her voice to advocate for the freedom of all people, especially through creative mediums. When not writing, she can be found climbing mountains, caring for her plants, or painting on things that shouldn’t be painted.