Smiling Faces, Inside Fury

photo_32728_20140712“Many of us revel in inauguration traditions, the chance to glimpse the famous and powerful,” NPR’s Shankar Vedantam explains. “Yet we humans have another side to our psychology. It’s a darker side that enjoys nothing more than seeing the powerful topple from their pedestals.”

“Angry. Sad. Frustrated. Really sick of it.” Those are just are a few of the emotions I’ve been feeling since the presidential campaigning, the election, and now the “what’s going to happen” reports have become a part of every-day news, Twitter and Facebook posts, and casual conversation. Why those emotions? Because of the vindictiveness, of the way we—the public—seem to relish every scandal, every innuendo, every (very-probably) fake news story…

A January 16 report by Shankar Vedantam shed a little light on the subject. Here’s my paraphrase of what I learned:

We need people to take charge, do the hard stuff, make the difficult decisions, and we practice the inevitable brown-nosing toward those with power in leadership positions.
But at the same time, we resent the power they have, the power we’ve given them.

We want the perks that go with the power, but don’t want to be held responsible for what comes with the power. So, we whine, complain, and relish the stories of their mistakes.

Interesting news report on Morning Edition on January 16:

Does it all come down to hidden greed and jealousy? Must we stay that way?

I think we can choose a better way—respect, gratitude, and cooperation—but we’ll need help to choose and sustain a better attitude toward those who are in leadership roles. I’m not advocating blind obedience, but an expectation and regulation of integrity and honesty. Let’s get over ourselves, support our leaders, and appreciate the hard job they have to do.

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