CAMP Fitness: Anger Management
by Rick Moore
|At that moment, everyone knows where they were and what they were doing.
I'd gotten to the gym at 9:00 that morning when David called to tell me to turn on the TV. He'd been on the Internet and got IM'ed about the trouble in New York. To me, it was truly unbelievable, seeing that plane hit the tower. I notified the members as to what was going on and they all gathered around our little TV set. What was going on? When the announcer broke in to say that the Pentagon had also been attacked, people got very nervous and you could sense the panic in their voices. The place cleared out after that.
I thought I'd check on the two ladies at the flower shop across the street, and within that span of time, the South Tower fell. Shocked was the reaction as we watched it, mouths wide open in disbelief. Shortly thereafter, the North Tower fell. I was angered. Who did this? Why? And were there any more attacks to come?
When Gov. Ruth Ann Minner asked businesses across the state to close, we did. I went home and found Dave angry and cussing. I think many people were. Dave's still connected to New York. He grew up near Buffalo and worked in Manhattan for three years. When I came to the city for my first visit with him, where did we go? Of course it was to see the World Trade Center and Battery Park. We have happy memories of that special fall day. So it was personal, a hit to our heartsit will never be the same for us or for anyone else again. Part of our collective memory of the Greatest City on Earth is gone, obliterated and erased from the Manhattan skyline.
Our government suspects that radical Islamic fundamentalists were to blame, so what do we do as a people? We go hunting for anyone who looks Arabic or Middle Eastern, then beat them up and destroy their businesses. We lash out at innocents just like the terrorists have done to us. Despite pleas for the violence to stop, innocent Americans are being victimized in a bloody backlash of personal, hand-to-hand combat on our own soil. We know the terrorists are mad, but do we also have to be?
Yes, we've been dealt a great injustice, and need to do what's necessary to stop the terrorists. But we needn't stoop to their level.
Americans started to lose our cool a long time ago, and it's affecting our health as a nation. It started with road rage, which now seems to be the norm whenever you travel the highways. We lost our sense of civility and courtesy toward our fellow Americans. We should be better than that, whether we're in a public place or at home.
People get angry at strangers who are standing in line to buy football tickets. It's taking too long! Well, buddy, you're not the only one who's waiting, so cool it and act like a civilized human being. What makes that angry person any more "special" than the others in line? It's a new society of "hurry up." Give me what I want nowI'm more special than you. It's the, "do you know who I am!?" syndrome.
Rage is contributing to high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. You don't want that to happen to you. In the newspaper, I read about ranting and raging in the restaurant industry.
Anger seems to be the social trend. If your food isn't perfect, it's not justifiable to throw it in the face of the person serving it to you. Would you want that to happen to you if the situation were reversed? I don't think so!
We've even resorted to throwing pets into speeding traffic because of a minor squabble. People are killed because of disagreements at their children's ice hockey games. You've probably seen many times on TV about the problems of "air rage," when a plane has to land suddenly because of an angry passenger who was refused his sixth drink in flight.
What has happened to our society?
It seems Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are spewing their hatred toward minorities, too. They've vented their anger on TV toward the feminists, gays, lesbians, and abortion rights supporters (among others), blaming them for the terrorist attacks. We've turned God's anger against America! Huh? These two guys are no better than the terrorists. We should be coming together at this dark time in our history, not causing division. We are all Americans first.
Falwell and Robertson need to direct their anger at the terrorist menace that has befallen the U.S. Just because I sleep with a man doesn't make me a bad person. I obey all laws and pay my taxes. I respect the rights of others, whether I agree or disagree. But I am not a bad person. So I'd like to tell Falwell and Robertson to their righteous faces: shut up.
Where do we go from here? As a country, I don't know. But as individuals, many of us need to rethink where we're going in life. We need to be more respectful of others, have patience, and try to manage our anger in a positive way instead of in a knee-jerk reaction to a situation. We need to use our brains to go forward from this mess. Stop the blaming, the shouting, the name calling, and the fighting.Direct that anger to a positive aspect of living. It won't be as detrimental to your health in the long run.
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Visit his club, Rick's Fitness & Health, in Milton, Delaware or www.ricksfitness.net, or call 302-684-3669.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 11, No. 13, September 21, 2001