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On Outrage (and Fridaily and Photo!)

I sat behind a truck at the water fill last night that had a bumper sticker you've probably seen: If you aren't outraged, you aren't paying attention.

There's truth there. If you look around, there are a gazillion things to feel outraged about. On my friendslist, or my Facebook feed, every few minutes something will show up that is horrific or enraging or just plain wrong.

I could spend a lot of energy every day correcting people, bringing attention to wrong-doing, sharing the latest and greatest offense, writing angry letters under my bare lightbulb... but you know what? I only have >>this<< much energy and outrage is a big suck of said energy. And I'd rather use it in other ways!

I'm paying attention. But I'm also looking for rainbows after the rain, and choosing to share the good news, and picking my battles. There are things that are bad out there! There always have been and always will be. But I am not a bad person for choosing not to dwell on them. I cannot save every puppy or correct every misconception. I am not a soulless or self-centered monster because I read these things and do not rise to the uncountable causes. I think a lot of people carry guilt because - given the nature of media and social network - they are inundated with All These Terrible Things, and feel that they are expected to be outraged about all of them! I used to feel guilty about that, too! These are things that deserve outrage! But I realized something recently, and I think it's worth sharing:

It is more useful to the world that I am cheerful, live creatively, and am responsible for myself.

So that's what I try to do, whenever I start to feel outraged. And you know what? I'm a lot happier for it.

On that note, have a picture of a baby eating a banana.

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Comments

( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Edward Cammarota
Jun. 21st, 2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
outrage
I am outraged that you only posted one Guppy photo :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

Sooooooo cute :-) :-) :-) any outrage anybody has should now be gone, how can anybody be angry after seeing Guppy eating a banana???
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
Re: outrage
See, I'm promoting world peace with adorable Guppy photos. :P
quickreaver
Jun. 21st, 2013 11:14 pm (UTC)
THAT PICTURE. Ellen, if nothing else, you have spawned a supahstah!
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
Isn't she just? I want to get her a superhero cape...
haikujaguar
Jun. 21st, 2013 11:17 pm (UTC)
I seem to recall reading somewhere that outrage releases some chemical in your brain that makes you feel more energized, and they were positing that you could become addicted to anger.
jenny_evergreen
Jun. 22nd, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
I believe that people very much DO, whether it is physical or psychological. I've seen it too many times!
(no subject) - haikujaguar - Jun. 23rd, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ellenmillion - Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - haikujaguar - Jun. 23rd, 2013 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - afke - Jun. 24th, 2013 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
jenny_evergreen
Jun. 22nd, 2013 12:05 am (UTC)
You are wise, my friend.
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:31 pm (UTC)
*tips a hat back atcha!*
browngirl
Jun. 22nd, 2013 12:32 am (UTC)
What's that saying? In 100 years nothing we do is as likely to matter as how we affect the children in our lives? It was said more cleverly.

Also, she is too cute to be believed. BWEE.
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:42 pm (UTC)
That is my highest calling right now - making sure that what I pass on through Guppy is the very best I can do!
dandelion_diva
Jun. 22nd, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)
Baby eatin' a banana in a monkey shirt! Perfect!

kelkyag
Jun. 22nd, 2013 02:27 am (UTC)
And with a style all her own. :)
(no subject) - ellenmillion - Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
ariestess
Jun. 22nd, 2013 01:43 am (UTC)
I love that quote. Think I may borrow it for a few creative ideas, with credit, of course. *g*
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:09 pm (UTC)
With my blessings!
marrael
Jun. 22nd, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
Won over by guppy photo. And while I want to and have been trying to be more positive, the current situation I'm finding myself in is making that VERY challenging. I'm also not affected or offended by people on LJ having their own interests however. On FB it is a different matter. :(

Because it doesn't take a lot to comment, or click "Like" or "Share" on something that is important. I think I share stuff equally good and bad, heavy and frivolous on FB. On FB, those friends who consistently ignore everything of a serious nature, and who I can only guess avoid ALL info--reading, sharing, responding--to things that are equally affecting others on the list, or in the world (eg. GMOs, big corps, whatever), and only share their "look what I'm eating in a restaurant" photos, I dunno. I can't defend them, and I'm getting tired of them. Other friends of mine who do share their activist passions (and it's NOT all negative), I encourage them all the time. Because there's nothing as deflating and soul-sucking either to have become a truth-seeker/speaker/spreader and be living by your ideals, than to feel you're surrounded by people who don't care and seem to have stuck their heads in the sand. Not you, obviously, but a lot of my local friends right now are giving me that impression.

So, yeah, I do agree in that I don't think outrage should be spread. Picking battles is also a necessity. Sharing information, though, is a different matter, and not that hard. Showing someone that their passions matter is priceless, and can be done without outrage.
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:27 pm (UTC)
I don't think that it's too selective to want a certain level of *depth* in your friends, or too much to expect a little support!
mizkit
Jun. 22nd, 2013 06:46 am (UTC)
1. Re: outrage: yes.

2. Re: baby: yes. *howls* :)
kittrel
Jun. 22nd, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Great post, agree with you 100%! Wonderful words to share. :3

Also Guppy is silly and adorable. :3
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
:3
afke
Jun. 22nd, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
Quite often there's not a whole lot you can do, and that only frustrates, which makes for cranky people. If you really feel guilty and want to help make the world a better place, it's best to find something locally. Like cleaning your own street! :)

I've always been an optimist, I can't help it, even when I'm down in a deep hole I can find little stuff that cheers me up and slowly crawl back out.
I did decide to watch the news no more than once a week, because they really try to either make you feel bad or scared.

If everyone just tries to be a better person in their own environment, in their own family, to the people they meet... the world would easily become better and better. :) You don't need big causes for that.
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:28 pm (UTC)
If everyone just tries to be a better person in their own environment, in their own family, to the people they meet... the world would easily become better and better. :) You don't need big causes for that.

This! Exactly this! :)
(no subject) - haikujaguar - Jun. 23rd, 2013 08:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
pers1stence
Jun. 22nd, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
Adorable Guppy is adorable.

My peeved with a lot of the outragers is that many spend most of their energy being outraged rather than taking action (and clicking like on a FB post doesn't count as an action).

For me FB is not the place for my anger at the horrors of the world. I donate to causes I believe in, try to be a good person and to help the littlest in my life grow up to be good people, and work for an org doing that works to improve the world. On FB I just post fluffy stuff because that is my break from the rest.

Being angry just to be angry is exhausting and not pleasant to be around.
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
And ironically, FB seems to be the worst offender for stirring up outrage - generally in a totally useless or outright counterproductive fashion.
(Deleted comment)
ellenmillion
Jun. 22nd, 2013 09:30 pm (UTC)
:) :) My job here is done!
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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