If you are living in the current times and you regularly take a stand about things, then you are bound to find yourself on the receiving end of cyber bullying at some point. Last week was my turn.
I was at logger-heads with a local supermarket chain and I found myself at the mercy of a blogger and his army of keyboard warriors.
I had people sending me long messages detailing the bad things that they would like to happen to me. People who had only just heard of me dug up my number and called me at 6am to issue threats.
It all seemed very personal to most of them. There seemed to be this very raw anger that lay just beneath the surface waiting to explode. I had always imagined that I would be stressed or upset if something like this ever happened to me but I found myself intrigued.
Why are we so angry? I wondered every time my phone vibrated to yet another angry text message.
I am not saying that anger is a negative emotion or that we don’t have things to be angry about. The government is haemorrhaging money, the economy is ailing and there is that sense of hopelessness especially with the youth.
Clearly, there is plenty to be angry about. Why are you angry at me, though? Why are you wasting this valuable emotion on a stranger? How about pooling it and directing it at the things you are actually angry about? How about using your anger to motivate change around you?
I’m afraid that the more this explosive anger directed at strangers becomes our go-to reaction, the more the bouts of violence that we see around us will become the norm.
Not knowing what to do with the anger we are feeling is directly related to the incidents we’ve had in the recent past of people being pushed out of moving matatus and mobs beating up and setting on fire innocent people in the streets and in the estates.
Anger can be productive. You could use this passion to lobby for better implementation of the more than enough laws that we already have, to keep your immediate leaders on their toes or even to look inward and figure out how you can make your life situation better.
And let’s stop thinking that there is only a limited amount of happiness or success to go round in the world. Remember that another person’s happiness doesn’t mean sorrow for you.
His or her success doesn’t mean that you will fail. Let your first response not be to yell at that stranger on social media. Think bigger. Make your anger productive and healthy.