Two Daughters to Guide Us Forward

Two Daughters to Guide Us Forward

by Nadia Ramoutar  MMM Communications Coordinator                   Ireland                       30.06.2024

When we think of spiritual people and how they behave, having them stomping about angrily does not really come to mind. In fact, what is a spiritual person supposed to do with anger? Let’s be honest though, the world can be a maddening place especially when humans behave the way they do. I think of Jesus in the Temple just losing it and for good reason.

The MMMs work on some challenging issues in often compromised and overlooked parts of the world. I try to be a person of faith although there are occasions where I find myself angry at how badly some people are treated. In fact, I found myself wresting with frustration recently and I questioning my faith.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” Saint Augustine of Hippo famously said.

I came across this quote recently and it struck me as very powerful and seemed to cure me of my fear of anger. I also have a questionable relationship with living in hope as I think it’s best to live in reality, but often reality lacks imagination and leaves lots of room for improvement. Courage seems like a better characteristic when trying to decipher hope and digest anger.

I think the combination of anger and courage is what I needed. It is a cocktail for moving forward with a bit of oomph. We often try to manage our negative feelings which can lead to toxic positivity, in other words pretending everything is fine when it is clearly not.

I am uncomfortable with anger but when it is tempered with courage it feels more acceptable and even gives it a purpose. I am aware that humans are committing horrendous crimes against one another and often people hurt other people carelessly. When we are the ones being hurt it is not easy to know what to do – or if we should do anything at all really.

So, here in Saint Augustine’s quote we find a formula for moving forward. I also love that he said they were daughters – and I think of them then as Sisters. How progressive he was for his time frame that he gendered them as female. We tend to think of anger as a male like characteristic but often women shove down and repress their anger which is probably worse. Women need to be less tolerant of many things.

But, in fairness, there are things that are worth being angry about and we need to honour that sense of being so upset we can no longer accept it. It is acceptance of what is unacceptable that has led to so many issues in the world growing so far out of control. A sprinkling of anger, seasoned with some courage might do us good and give us some meaningful food for thought.