Present Tense

Raising Hell: Overrated

“Keep Calm and Carry On?  No, thanks.  I’d Rather Raise Hell and Change the World”


A friend posted that on Facebook the other day and it got me to pondering.  Don’t we need both types of people in the world?  The calm, deliberate types and the passionate, raise hell types?

For most of my life, I’d fall into the latter category, but I’m under no illusion whatsoever that I’ve done anything to “change the world”.  As a radio host and writer, I’ve certainly had a platform to exert some influence or at the very least piss a lot of people off, but true “world changers” are in short supply.

I admire those who can remain calm and clear-headed; who can see both sides of an issue/situation/disagreement and take their time to weigh in. They are typically much more measured and wise than those of us who mistake our passion and intensity for action.  I’ve lost count of all of the quick judgements and decisions that I’ve made relying on my impatient intensity.  In nearly all instances, taking my time would have saved me some trouble.

Sadly, we seem to be in an era where measured, moderate responses and opinions are derided.  Expressing empathy or exhibiting the ability to see both sides of an issue is deemed “squishy” or even worse “moderate” (when did that become dirty word?).  Passion certainly has it’s place in life and can fan the flame of our humanity, but it needs to be balanced with a bit of humility.

So, when I read a quote like that I cringe a bit.  It’s very either/or.  Why can’t we meld the two?  Ghandi changed the world without raising hell, as did Jesus and countless others that I’m too ignorant to name right now. I’m sure you can fill in the blanks for me.

There seems to be a cultural imperative that anger equals passion; that ‘raising hell’ will somehow change the world or at least your little corner of it.  I’m not so sure that’s true.  In fact, I tend to think that the best way to change the world is to change ourselves. I think we all need a bit more introspection and a little less ‘hell raising’; particularly if your idea of changing the world involves angry rants or posts on the internet.

I’ve been on a quest for truth for a few years now.  It began as I searched for a religious or spiritual path.  What I’ve discovered is that many of my beliefs, both political and spiritual, were just not true; they didn’t allow other viewpoints in.  I was closed off to the vast amount of  knowledge and wisdom that’s available to all of us.

So, we’re back to humility.  Admitting that what you thought was true, just isn’t.  I think that we would all do well to critically examine our political, religious, financial, spiritual or whatever beliefs.  You owe it to yourself as an evolving, growing human.  You may find that you’re raising hell for something that upon further investigation is complete crap.  You may be expending a ton of physical, psychic and emotional energy defending a position that is ridiculous.

So, what is it? “Keep Calm and Carry On, Raise Hell and Change the World” or sit quietly and open yourself to other ways of seeing and reacting?  You’re in charge.

November 10, 2012 Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments


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