“What are the three things about Nigeria you are most angry about?” An interviewer asked me just a few hours ago.
I thought about it briefly: “Actually, nothing.”
She was incredulous: “Nothing?”
“Absolutely nothing. I would rather focus on action. There is no good action that anger leads us to, that a better emotion cannot also lead us to.
“Yes there is plenty that is wrong with Nigeria; but if anger could solve the problems, Nigerians have already generated enough anger over the past few decades to have made it possible. But anger doesn’t solve problems. Action does.”
The philosopher, Seneca writes in his seminal book On Anger: “of what use is anger, when the same end can be arrived at by reason? Do you suppose that a hunter is angry with the beasts he kills? Yet he meets them when they attack him, and follows them when they flee from him, all of which is managed by reason without anger. … Anger, therefore, is not useful even in wars or battles: for it is prone to rashness, and while trying to bring others into danger, does not guard itself against danger. The most trustworthy virtue is that which long and carefully considers itself, controls itself, and slowly and deliberately brings itself to the front.”
If I can do something about it, I focus my energies on doing something about it. If I can’t, I focus on things I can do something about.
Anger is not required.