Today in my English class, we talked about anger. Yes, anger. You’d think in an English Literature class, we’d talk about, well, literature, right? In class, we got to spill out our emotions onto a piece of paper, guided by three simple questions: 1. What makes you angry about your family? (Boy, did I have a lot to say about that one…) 2. What makes you angry about school? 3. What makes you angry about yourself?
We were given about 5 minutes to answer each one, in which I ended up spilling out everything into long, uncoordinated sentences about all the little things that had bothered me in the past. If I had been given more time to think about the questions, I probably could have filled up another page of “It makes me angry when…” After we finished, I realized how much anger I had bottled up inside me that was either still there or recreated because I had been thinking about it all over again. In the last 5 minutes of our mini-lesson for the day, my teacher asked us to pick ONE thing that made us angry from each question (whether we had 10 or 100 things that made us angry) and write a solution.
At first, the class just kind of sat there, probably because everyone was wound up on emotions, and the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re upset is calmly reach a solution. But once I started looking through my answers and picked out a few, I realized how easy it was to comeup with even the basic, first-step solution to a big problem. When I was writing out something that bothered me, it seemed like this big entity hanging over my head with all the emotions coming back to me. The ordeal was smaller than it seemed the second time around and that, maybe if I had taken a step back before, I could have spent less time angry and more time forgiving. On top of that, I also discovered that it was important for me to realize that there were just some things not in my power, but what I do have control over can be solved if I break it up into smaller steps.