Find Some Compassion and your Anger Will Subside

CL Society 193: Brothers

Article by Wendy McCance

I was watching the news this morning and heard that a motive was being put together for why Adam Lanza would target his mom and small children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  The report said that Adam Lanza knew he was about to be put in a mental health facility.  It also stated that his mother used to volunteer at the elementary school where the shooting took place.  It is believed that Adam Lanza felt his mother loved those children more than she loved him.

Hearing a possible reason why the shooting happened and understanding what might have gone on in the mind of Adam Lanza made a small amount of the heartbreak I felt lessen to a degree.  I still tear up when I hear or read anything about what happened to those children.  I feel intense sorrow for the families of these children who died in the rampage.  I was surprised by the compassion I began to feel for a young adult who had such a tough life dealing with his own demons.  My anger subsided ever so slightly.

Finding some sort of compassion for a troubled individual has helped me deal with the tragedy of what happened.  I have no idea if I would be able to see things in the same light if I had been touched personally by the experience of what happened.  I pray I never have to find out what my heart is made of in such a situation.

I believe in trying to find compassion in life’s rough situations.  There is always going to be a situation where you feel burned by another individual whether at work or in your personal life.  There will be times where a situation feels incredibly unfair.  Being able to step back and examine the situation and the person as an observer rather than as someone emotional tied to a bad situation can help heal many bad feelings.

I once dealt with a supervisor who seemed to really care about her employees until she found something to become disappointed about with them.  I saw as one by one she made each and every employee lose trust in her.  She was so determined to look for the bad in each person.  Her level of faith in others was incredibly low.  The employees really started to despise what she was all about.  I also got my fair share of the wrath of this supervisor.  Although I became uncomfortable around her and put up walls to guard myself, I never felt the intense anger that other co-workers had for her.  What saved me from those feelings was a feeling of compassion for her.  This supervisor seemed so stressed out and out of control when it came to leading a group of people.  I had heard that there were personal issues that had her worrying.  I also saw how the standards of what she was supposed to accomplish were much higher than what she would be able to pull off.

As soon as I saw the human side of this supervisor and was able to put my self in her shoes, the anger diminished.  I no longer felt so personally attacked.  I saw that she was not good under pressure and didn’t know how to take control while keeping her employees in a state of feeling supported.  It was like she had just abandoned ship and would kick and scratch if any one of us tried to pull her back into the boat.  The point was that she had her own demons to face.  Her way of handling things had nothing to do with the employees she oversaw.

Life is tough, let’s face it.  As I am always reminding my kids, when a situation makes you feel bad, stand back and try to find an understanding of why someone might have reacted in a certain way.  So many times, there are reasons that have nothing to do with you.  When you can stand back objectively without allowing your feelings to get in the way of the truth of the situation, some peace will be found and any anger will begin to subside.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 6 local papers online, including the Oakland Press.The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

19 thoughts on “Find Some Compassion and your Anger Will Subside

  1. It would be great if everyone was compassionate and caring and looked out for their less fortunate friends and neighbors. I would love to live in a world like that. But life ain’t like that and it’s not going to be.
    Save your compassion and understanding for the parents and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy. Don’t waste your time trying to get inside the head of mass murderers because you have no possible way of doing that.
    Think about it this way, if less time and compassion had been wasted on this evil maniac and he had been locked away sooner then all those little innocent kids would still be alive.
    Harsh? Maybe. But true.

    • I agree completely. I truly understand your point of view. I guess personally I can’t process such a tramatic event without trying to humanize the crazy people. I just can’t wrap my head around crazy or that our world is made up of so much of it. Maybe it’s my own version of crazy, but if I can find a glimmer of sadness for what the bad person’s life has been, I can process the hideousness a degree better.

  2. I can’t recall the originator of a quotation couched along these lines “The easiest thing in the world to do is lame, the hardest is to understand.” Your thoughtful and sensitive post has reminded me of the value of stepping back and taking in the whole landscape. Thanks

  3. Hi Wendy! you seem to have a heart of gold. Not many think this way. I am still not able to digest the mishap that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
    Also, one other thing that I have begun to worry about ever since I heard the news is about the children of today. Life has seemed to have become very complicated all of a sudden. Children today have very complex thoughts, Not so easy for the parents to resolve. I am a mom of a toddler of 20 month old.

    • I don’t know about a heart of gold, I’m just trying to find a way to look at this tragic event so that it doesn’t hurt so much. I have 3 kids between the ages of 10 and 18. I have gone through many moments of worry about what they are experiencing growing up. Trust me when I say that there are things you wish your kids would never have to experience. It will wreak havoc on your soul. The image of what you hope your kids experience vs what reality brings them can be very different and painful to deal with. Even so, I have been astounded by the resilience and strength my kids have found within themselves to cope with what has been thrown in their path. Love your children and be the mom you have always wanted your children to have. The rest will work itself out, I promise.

  4. As shocking and tough as this world may be, I do think that it’s good to always try to view all aspects of a situation, and even if we are unable to undertsand it, at least let us try not to judge. I love the way you put this point across in your post. As a mother with a little boy the same age as the beloved children that were lost, all I can say is that my heart goes out to all victims in this shocking tragedy, including those of us that are feeling the overwhelming grief. Thank you for such a beautifully written post. :)

  5. Very wise words my friend. It’s very easy to take a hard line without looking a little deeper for the reason a behavior is displayed. Walking in someone else’s shoes for a while can shed a great deal of light on why they do the things they do. That said, it doesn’t mean you condone the affects of that behavior, it just helps with understanding.

  6. “Find Some Compassion and your Anger Will Subside.”
    Yes, and maybe find some good hobbies away from the internet (Bomb building - made easy) such as piano playing, guitar lessons, and joining a writer’s circle. Get off the ‘shoot ‘em up’ video games as well, that ALL feature assault weapons, the badder - the better.Cheers, Don

    P.S. An older man walked up to me in the coffee shop today (My office by the way) and asked if I would teach him better grammar, and he offered to teach me guitar. My office just moved to his place, and I got my first quick lesson. I can sing, but I can’t strum a guitar - YET! This guy is phenomenal on his guitar, and I’m not too shabby now either with my two new chords I just learned.

    Step back Santana, Bob Marley, and Kurt Cobain. I’m comin’ through! LOL :-} D.

  7. Hi Wendy,
    I think you have a point in being able to step back and see the situation from an observer’s point of view. I don’t really think there is anything that anyone can do to take the pain away from the loss of these victims. If Adam Lanza’s mother was going to have him committed then it means that steps were being taken to avoid this type of tragedy. In the end, it was not avoided. When things like this happen, people want action because they feel out of control. Time makes it easier to deal with tragedy but it doesn’t necessarily heal it. There really is no reason why a tragedy like this one would happen, except maybe to bring awareness to something lacking in our society. No one really knows.
    BTW, I had a supervisor similar to the one you are talking about - only my husband was a client of hers. I would get the brunt of the storm that was meant for him. One day, I reported her and the behavior began to subside, even though “corporate” sided with her. In the long run, though, her bahavior with me improved almost 180 degrees.


    • Hi Karina, thanks for the comment. I wish I had a way to take away the pain those parents are going through. I think your right though about what they will be going through. Sorry to hear about the supervisor. At least they backed off from treating you so poorly.

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