The art of public speaking exists on a spectrum; either be as ‘dynamic’ as possible or scream. There is significant overlap, but I do not remember any public speaker or teacher, either in primary school or undergrad, intentionally raising their voice to prove a point. They were firm, but being firm is not necessarily the same as being angry. There is overlap between firmness and anger, but the former tends to have a more caring nature.
Over the course of the last decade (possibly longer), Americans have found solace in being angry over every piece of inconvenience they find on social media; from vaccine mandates, to former President Barack Obama’s birth certificate reported by ‘gotruepatriot.com.’ If you are from any state in the Southeast (Alabama in particular), football is considered a justifiable excuse to be mad. My question to you, the reader, is why do we take pleasures in being mad for the sake of being mad?
The science is clear that whenever we experience anger, an adrenaline rush occurs, caused by the ‘amphetamine-like hormone’ called epinephrine, according to Psychology Today. According to Dr. Leon Seltzer, anger serves as a response for feeling like a victim. Seltzer says “[when you are angry], you feel unjustifiably attacked, taken advantage of, betrayed, violated, or powerless.” I think it is safe to say we all experience this to some degree.
True, there will always be moments in life where anger is the warranted emotion, but imagine a life where we wear our hurt on our sleeves, only to take it out on an innocent bystander, or worse, a loved one. Either circumstance is less than ideal, and may happen at random, isolated moments, but what happens when an entire society thrives on anger? Whether it is politics, high school athletics or at the dinner table, we need a villain in our lives. This villain is not typically a visible kind, but is oftentimes an abstract concept of a thing, rather than the hard reality of said thing.
Being firm, on the other hand, calls for a steadiness. Passion plays a role, but it should never get out of control. The purpose of being firm is to bring order in a whirlwind chaos in a situation, not to escalate it. Solving problems in a blind rage is impossible since it creates more chaos, but a soft, yet firm, demeanor can solve as many problems as undefiled rage can create.
Jacob Murdock is a staff writer for The Times-Journal. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.