Just in case you were wondering, there are twelve traffic lights between my house and where my daughter attends preschool. How do I know this random piece of information you might ask? Defying all odds and probability, I had the opportunity today to count each one as I waited for them to turn from red to green. A trip that normally takes 10 minutes max winded up being a 20-minute fiasco.
I wasn’t fazed by the first red light. Didn’t pay much attention to the second one. Numbers 3-5 made me chuckle. Yet, after that, I found myself progressively getting angrier at each stop: 7th (slamming the top of steering wheel), 9th (veins begin popping on my neck), 10th (nervous eye twitch), 11th (foaming at the mouth) and finally number 12 (turning bright red with steam coming out of both ears like one of those crazy cartoon characters).
In honor of my disdain for traffic lights and the need to work on my anger issues, I took a moment to reflect on other things that get my blood boiling. Here are a few I came up with:
- When Facebook pushes their religious agenda on me. As much as I appreciate your attempts to get me right with the big guy upstairs, stop trying to convince me that I should be a fan of God. Ditto on bubble wrap and Larry the Cable Guy.
- Kids who go skating past me at the mall on Heelys while their parents are too busy stuffing their face with a Wetzel Pretzel to notice the accidents their kid is causing. Anytime I hear those wheels whizzing behind me I have to fight the urge not to pull a Donald Brashear (one of the best hockey goons of all time for those non-sports fans) and check their head into the glass display at Pac-Sun.
- When the remote control runs out of batteries and I find myself stuck on C-SPAN.
- Being told I am anti-social by individuals who just happen to like the sound of their own voice. Being told I am cynical by people who are always sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. I would never tell you this, but the glass will always be half empty.
- The teenage sister of whichever preschooler introduced Madison to all things Hannah Montana.
- Rocco doing the pee-pee dance near the door and realizing I will have to walk him in the pouring down rain.
- Close to 100,000,000 votes being cast to decide the winner of American Idol, but only 56% of people show up to vote for the presidential election.
Internet Land is already abuzz over the travesty that took place tonight when Adam “Sir Screeh A lot” Lambert was denied his rightful crown of American Idol. The anger will be displayed in various forms like wailing, the gnashing of teeth and tearing of clothes. It is only a matter of time before some bozo will inevitably go on a hunger strike until the decision is reversed.
Remember, a few years back during the 3rd season of Idol when the world was going to end when your “can’t miss” choice lost as well. You know…what’s his name or was it a girl, I can’t remember. That’s my point. People get up in arms over the most random, trivial and insignificant things. Myself included. At the same time, war, genocide and famine are taking place and, if we are being honest, we really could care less. Everywhere you look in the world there are injustices taking place:
- Over 33 million people are dealing with AIDS
- 1.4 billion people (a quarter of the developing world) find themselves living in extreme poverty of less than $1.25 a day.
- 40,000 children die every day from malnutrition, starvation and hunger related diseases.
- One of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population is family with children.
- In 2006, over 9,000 hate crimes took place in the United States.
- Every 2 minutes someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
If I am too lazy to get up off the couch when the batteries in the remote go dead, it should come as no surprise that I haven’t felt compelled to move to evoke change in the world. I sit on the sidelines in silence not speaking up for people who have no voice. Maybe instead of trying to tame my anger, I should harness it to focus on issues that really matter. Anger with purpose.