A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know


If you’re not outraged . . .

By Don Wright

Rage. A word that evokes a visceral response from most of us. Way beyond simple anger, rage is a seething that encompasses just about all the negative attributes that we might have.

Outrage – an inward loathing and hate turned outward and projected.

Now let’s consider a popular bumper sticker – “If you’re not OUTRAGED, then you’re not paying attention.”

As young ones we’re taught to “pay attention,”  and failure to pay attention is seen as either some kind of disorder or simple disdain for authority. Most of us want to be known as astute and “paying attention.”

The bumper sticker assures many that if they’re outraged,  they are current with the points that make feeling or displaying outrage justified. If they’re not outraged, then they are either out of touch or don’t have the capacity to understand the very basics of the world that surrounds them; branded a misfit.  We don’t want to be misfits.  We want to be raging, outwardly raging. We put this bumper sticker on our cars to herald the fact that we’re raging both inside and outwardly, in an effort to share with others that it’s what’s expected, a normal condition, and prevalent.

Of course the bumper sticker business is devoted to advertising, they have to design stickers that sell, and stickers that sell best are the ones that push our buttons.

But what does it say about people who actively encourage a condition or life of rage in others by applying the bumper sticker? A small thing, true, but what about possible larger consequences?

The fact that we are capable of doing this without thinking it through to a logical conclusion appears to be a basic programming error.

The take away is to consider the mindset we want to foster in those around us. Do we want peaceful, considerate accompaniment, or are we okay with being surrounded by the frustrated, edgy and unstable? One never knows how we might just “accidentally” influence others.

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