Posted by: Irene Fridsma | March 26, 2012

Livid (a rant)


Livid. Even the sound of the word is intense. Yesterday the airwaves crackled with rhetoric concerning the shooting of a young boy carrying skittles, tea, and wearing a hoodie. The outcry is warranted. Shoot first––ask questions later.

What bothers me is which events and issues turn us livid. What bothers me is the ease with which we let issues slide from livid to apathetic.

A bad call on the basketball court.
A stubbed toe getting out of bed.
A kid who interferes with our schedule, or level of desired quiet.
A driver that cuts us off in traffic, intentionally or deliberately

The above is a list of situations that light a short fuse and can instantly turn us livid. Face turns red, or purple, heart races, and muscles tighten. We are ready to fight and do bodily harm to another. But really, are any of those events important? Or are they just a matter of selfishly wanting our own way?

Reports of human trafficking, neglect of children, the elderly, those with disabilities, the weak, treatment of the poor, shooting other humans for sport, or because they wear hoodies and for many people, the news barely engenders a response. Someplace else, someone else. Our ego, family, and neighborhood remains intact and that’s all that matters.

We figured our income taxes yesterday. Sticker shock! The amount was way more than we wanted to pay and we searched for more deductions, but didn’t find enough to bring down the total. We wrote the check and took our lumps.

Bottom line, we are thankful. We have a comfortable life style, enough to eat, a home, and we have resources to pay our taxes. It is easy to be blind to those in need when our lives are full.

I turn on the evening news and hear angry candidates calling each other names, blaming each other for situations out of their control, making assumptions about each others motives and intents. Bullies. If this were the playground and children spoke this way to each other, they would be considered bullies, disciplined, possibly suspended or expelled. Yet, with the candidates people follow their example and repeat the same disrespectful rhetoric. What is wrong with this picture?

One of my favorite quotes is “Evil prevails when good men do nothing.” We ought to be livid about exploitation of children. We need to be livid over violence against women and little girls and boys. We need to be livid over abuse of the elderly and the poor. We need to be livid against bullying.

Consider if the situation is grave enough to deserve our furious anger. Consider if it is just our feelings, or our own ego being stepped on. Get livid and let it spur us to constructive action.


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