Righteous Indignation

A previous post about balance took on a life of it’s own. A spirited debate about children and television ensued. I almost wish the original post had been on My Beautiful Chaos with all the parenting advice given.

There was a dicey minute when feathers were ruffled. Then the thought was raised that the ability to keep keep feathers smooth was an important one. It sparked another post by Timothy over at Carpe Factum which included a fantastic quote

“Nobody can make me feel inferior without my consent.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

and a phenom reminder

…we ourselves own the reaction, even though we don’t always own the catalyst.

But, I can’t help but wonder where righteous indignation fits in. I believe that there is a such thing. I believe that there are times when things, situations, and even people are just plain wrong.

Don’t misunderstand – I know that one must pick their battles carefully. I also know that we are the masters of our own feelings. I think that drama filled, ill intended, provoked arguments are unless and counter productive.

But isn’t there a time and a place for a stand – and isn’t it possible that sometimes that stand is personal and affects us in an emotional way?

And isn’t just possible that that’s ok?


  1. Hi April – ABSOLUTELY YES – there is always room for righteous indignation. My only point is that we need to choose it selectively. There are way too many passionate Don Quixotes running around, fighting emotional windmills. If somebody is being a bonehead, is purposely being hurtful or mean, is abusing an imbalance of power, then certainly if we are in a position to help and assist, there is room for righteous indignation. We just have to remember that we do it for the right reasons and that we own the consequences to our actions.

  2. Tim – you are one of the smartest reads I know! I am so glad you choose to spend some of your time here.

    fighting emotional windmills

    Fantastically put.

    Here’s to owning the consequences!

  3. There is indeed a place for righteous indignation. However, too many people are too thin skinned. It is becoming easier and easier to offend people these days. Controlling one’s emotions is a very difficult skill to develop, but I think it is important — something that should be taught in school. I would love to see anger management type courses taught in the public schools. People don’t know how or when or to what degree to use their emotions. Everyone needs to be slow to anger (as the Bible says), but the key word is SLOW. That does not mean to never get angry. Jesus drove the money guys out of the temple with a whip because of righteous indignation — so indeed we know it to be a good thing when used in the right situations. I dislike it when I hear someone say, “She made me so angry!” It is important to understand that the only person who makes YOU feel any particular way is YOU. The issue is State Management. People are in charge of their own state, whether they admit it or not. Very important is the fact that April points out: sometimes it is very important to use your State Management to be angry because of righteous indignation. Jesus was angry; sometimes we all need to be angry — but most of the time we need to be SLOW to anger.

  4. Wade, This conversation isn’t going to be nearly as interesting as the last one…I am going to have to try again 😛

    See, I agree with you on every point except the “teach it in school” thing. That seems like an area of instruction where you must talk to a person’s being – that can stay at home with sex ed. Maybe there is a primer that the schools could do. I will tell you in my daughters’ school they have “character curriculum.” It’s pretty good and I think I am happy with that.

    I love the term “State Management.” And the cleansing of the temple is one of the very moments I was thinking of. However, may we all have that kind of judgment. Also shows a whole different side of a man people try to portray as weak (but that is yet another post).

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