Healing Quotes: Maya Angelou on Bitterness and Anger

“Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. But anger is like fire. It burns it all clean.” – Maya Angelou

I have always liked inspirational quotes, although I am getting a bit weary now that they’re shared on Facebook all over the place without even as much as a personal commetn. I therefore want to write about thsi quote and express how it affects me.

Bitterness and anger are both emotions that come when something happens that we don’t like and that we feel we don’t deserve. But while bitterness is a passive emotion, one that gets people stuck in their feeling of beint treated unfairly, anger is an active emotion. It drives people to actually do something about the injustice done to them or about the consequences of this injustice. An example of this can be seen in Down with Dat’s use of anger to fuel activism.

Anger really isn’t the negative emotion we often think of, the emotion that paralyzes people into being consumed with self-pity. That is bitterness. Bitterness may actually also be like depression (not the clinical kind, but the everyday depression most people experience at times) rather than just anger, and, while we don’t usually choose to be depressed, we can change our train of thought to convert it into anger and action.

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