Anger is: provocation, human, release, riled, fury, annoyance, healthy, indignant, creative, destructive, pique, alarm, necessary.
Anger is viewed by our culture as primarily a negative thing, and as such we try to avoid it and shame it out of existence. The trouble is, it exists and serves a purpose in the overall scheme of the universe. It has many potential purposes. It lets us know and allows us to alert others that something isn’t right. It can motivate us to change, to fight for something that is not fair, to correct an evil so to speak. But even if you cannot identify a positive purpose to what you or someone around you is feeling does not make it go away. It is a valid human emotion. We must find ways of expressing that emotion, of releasing it in a healthy and safe way. When that is kept inside, suppressed, it leads to depression. One of the best definitions of depression is anger turned in on yourself.
Unexpressed it builds up into rage, into violence, into destruction and war and hate. Feeling angry is a sign that you need to stand up for yourself. If you ignore the sign, the feeling grows.
Meditation on Anger:
I can express my displeasure and disappointment today with measure,
or I can explode my rage tomorrow with violence.
I can vent at an unjust world,
or I can destroy my ungrateful self.
I can tell you I dislike the harm you are causing,
or I can inflict worse harm on us both.
I can use my hurt to build strength,
or I can rage and burn down the beauty.
I cannot escape anger.
I cannot escape these choices.
Perspectives on Anger:
The American Psychological Association has a very nice working definition along with a wide variety of resources for expressing it in healthy ways.
Laura L. Hayes writes a cautionary tale about unchecked anger in our culture on Slate.
A collection of poetry written by people about expressing anger is thoughtful and full of so many emotions it is worth exploring.