Join us on Facebook
What's Happening
Events & Entertainment
Back to the day
Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Larry Barnett
Public Citizen
Larry Barnett

Feeling Angry – Being Kind

We live in complex, trying times. We know more about what's happening in the world than any people who have ever lived before; much of it is disturbing, and about which we can often do little or mostly nothing. Closer to home, the emotions being stirred up in this election year are alarming. Whatever advantages we enjoy here in America, the effects of lost jobs, shrinking incomes, high prices and mountains of debt have generated a tidal wave of discontent. Establishment politics has succumbed to desperation, frustration and the search for an alternative. Those paying attention are embracing the "strongman" tactics of Trump, the righteous compassion of Sanders or the familiar security of Clinton, but everyone is acting from feelings of discomfort and alarm, seeking hope and salvation. There are, of course, millions paying no attention to politics whatsoever, having given up, too busy trying to make ends meet, or not having the time or luxury to care. For them, however, life is also complex and disturbing. Political or not, the simple act of living turns out to be not simple at all; eventually, everyone is faced with events beyond control: difficult people, unforeseen accidents, health crises, or one problem or another. Such is the experience of being human and despite our constant attempts at entertainment or distraction, major and minor forms of suffering cannot be permanently avoided. Living is too complex to be resolved perfectly or tied up in a nice, neat little bow. This raises the question of what to do and how to respond to the truth of our hopeless situation. By hopeless, I don't mean that nothing matters; rather I'm referring to the hopelessness of tying life into the neat little bow we imagine is possible. For some, the neat little bow is to retreat, cutting off difficult emotions. Sorry to report, it doesn't work; I've tried. No matter how deeply I've tried to bury feelings they leak out, and the harder I try, the worse the leakage and the worse I treat myself and others. Some spend their time in continuous emotional turmoil, and justify it as being honest. Thus regular displays of anger, irritation, fearfulness, anxiety, jealousy and the like get passed on to others, as if such expression itself will eventually run out-of-steam. This does not work, either; been there, tried that. The fact is that there is no one-size-fits-all formula for living. Each person is unique and must muddle through life in a process of observation and discovery. Some things we do get us into more trouble, not less. If we learn from our mistakes, life gets a bit easier, perhaps, at least until something changes in the next minute or two. I have only come up with one provisional solution. I call it provisional because the neat little bow project is hopeless, but it does provide some relief. It begins with recognizing that each and every one of us is in exactly the same situation, coping with being human in whatever ways we can or are able, as unpleasant as that may often be or appear; then, knowing that and despite whatever emotion we feel  - anger, fright, sadness or delight - to respond to others with kindness. I promise you, it's not easy. Donald Trump requires all the effort I can muster. I can report that with practice it gets easier.
Continue Story...
Local Movie Trailers and Videos of Interest - more >>
SUN Columnist & Blogs
more >>
Public Citizen - Larry Barnett
The Sun Eats - Sarah Stierch
Before It's Too Late - Eric Gullotta
The Sonoma Garden - Karen Boness
Progressive Majority Coalition - Ben Boyce
Taxpertise - Bonnie Lee
Snark Infested Waters - Bob Edwards
Springs Eternal - Gina Cuclis
Board Walk - Susan Gorin
Nonprofit Matters - Dr. B.J. Bischoff
What's Happening - Katy Byrne
Connecting the Dots - Fred Allebach
This Week in Politics - Ron Willis Ed.D.
Voices of the New Majority - Sal Chavez
Creative Arts - Deb Carlen, Editor
Sun In-Depth Report - Sonoma Valley Sun
Under the Sun: Interviews - Sonoma Valley Sun
Call the Super - Louann Carlomagno
Emily’s Post - Emily
Find What You're looking For


What We're Following
Stories of interest from around the Web
nasal_flue Nasal flu vaccine appears to be largely ineffective as compared with injections
Supreme Court indecision on Obama’s immigration initiative sinks CA plan to offer Medi-Cal to over 620,000 uninsured
> Los Angeles Times
Divers have trouble on the Mendocino Coast; third death recorded this year
> Mendocino Beacon
Eel River action plan seeks heathy management of watershed; the Eel is the 3rd largest river within CA borders
> Ukiah Daily Journal
220px-Mike_Thompson Rep. Thompson in sit-in on floor of House to force vote on gun control bills, including one of his own
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
In-depth look at California’s huge recycling crisis as hundreds of centers close
> Sacramento Bee
Police personnel conduct records are closed to the public; this may change if Rep. Leno moves ahead with a ballot initiative
The number of drivers using mobile devices while behind the wheel is rising in California
> California Office of Traffic Safety
Pothole Sonoma County roads are the worst in the Bay Area; how to pay to fix them continues to be an issue
> North Bay Business Journal
RV parking on streets banned by San Rafael’s City Council; travelers, homeless, go elsewhere
> Marin Journal
Watch out for Sonoma Raceway traffic as NASCAR-tourist-clogged roads dominate our area this weekend
> Napa Valley Register
Calabazas Open Space Preserve north of Glen Ellen as received a negative declaration and is ready for public comment
> Kenwood Press
shark AGreat white shark has been spotted by a lifeguard at Cowell Beach, close to Santa Cruz wharf
> Mercury News
Coroner IDs woman killed in Santa Rosa motorcycle crash
> Sonoma Sheriff's Office
PG&E screwed up on gas line safety, according to a U.S. public safety engineer
> NBC Bay Area
Full recovery from its drought will take California at least four years of above-average snowfall in the Sierras
> Sacramento Bee
labmeat Are you ready to eat meat created in a laboratory? It will debut soon in San Francisco restaurants
> San Francisco Chronicle
Voters in Healdsburg will be asked to vote on scrapping the city’s current housing growth cap
> Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Watch the film, Common Ground: Speaking out on Land Use in Sonoma County
> Common Ground
A majority of Californians (58%) view traffic congestion as a big problem
> Public Policy Institute of California
More Following Stories...
Live Traffic
Link to Live Crime Map