This past Wednesday, I received a call from my son, who lives in Ben Lomond, CA. His home, is surrounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains and Redwood Forests.
They had received word to evacuate from their home due to the burning fires near the Boulder Creek community, only four miles away. They began packing the most important things to take which included their dog and the chickens that their small daughter has grown to love. As they drove to Santa Cruz, the bumper traffic and smoke in the air made it a very stressful drive.
Imagine how anxiety-ridden you might be going through this process. The next morning, my daughter-in law was looking in her car to get clothes for her little one when she was approached by the next door neighbor. He was angry about where they had parked their cars. She apologized and explained that they had been evacuated from their home the evening before and would just be there a few days. That didn't seem to matter to this man as he continue to be outraged. My son noticed what was going on and came out to reason with the man, to no avail. The landlord arrived and told them they were not welcome to stay.
Really? I couldn't believe anyone would do that to a family. Where is the empathy and sympathy for others in crisis?
My heart broke as I heard my son's frustration over the phone. If the stress of Covid-19 wasn't enough, now they had been displaced from their home like thousands of others in their community and there was a man with no kindness in his heart.
We have more than a raging forest fires in our country. I read an article where professor, Raymond Novac stated "America is living in a big Anger incubator". Between a pandemic, civil unrest, and an economic decline due to Covid-19, everyone is mad at someone. Research shows that not managing anger can lead to more aggressive behavior.
Novac shared several ways to help manage our anger which is basically learning to get over yourself!
Appreciate - celebrate the good things that provide happiness in your life
Affiliate - cultivate relationships with others (this is a little hard with social distancing) I have loved zooming with cousins and friends. Find a couple or a friend you feel comfortable with and share a dinner on your patio or porch. Get to know your neighbors if you have not yet them met.
Aspiration - think about how you might accomplishing something that will help or serve others. Contribute to a relief fund, give blood, offer your time to help.
Several additional things to consider would be:
Limit your media watching - We all know that it is enough to get anyone's blood pressure to rise.
Take care of yourself - hydrate, eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep
Buy a good devotional to read in the morning and in the evening. God is our source of strength and comfort. Maybe too many in this country have stepped away from seeking God. This is the perfect time to renew your faith or discover who God is.
Some good scriptures to consider in regards to anger:
Don’t give in to worry or anger; it only leads to trouble.
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Get rid of all bitterness, passion, and anger. No more shouting or
insults, no more hateful feelings of any sort
Those who control their anger have great understanding; those
with a hasty temper will make mistakes.
Please pray for the winds to subside and die out as well as the safety
of the firefighters working tirelessly in the Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond and Scotts Valley area near Santa Cruz, CA.