Barack Obama's handling of the Reverend Wright (or Reverend Wrong, as the world seems to agree) over the past couple of days is a deft example of the importance of righteous anger when it's called for. And this is just that kind of situation.
Senator Obama had to respond. To have allowed this self-congratulatory and poisonous performance of Wright to continue without comment would be a disservice to all those who support Obama's candidacy for the highest office in the United States. Perhaps he waited too long. What's of interest to me here, though, is his use of words and his clearly expressed anger.
It was well placed, reflective, took the high road. He didn't rant himself, as many of us would perhaps have been tempted to do. He didn't stoop to insult the man. He did, though, make clear he was angry and regarded their relationship as one he could not continue.
How do you handle anger in your work? Does it appear too often it has little impact ("There he goes again...")? Do people cower when you express it? Or do they listen, feeling that in even such angry conversation, you are signaling that there is opportunity for response? Obama's oratory and conversational gifts are remarkable. I'm impressed that even in anger, his words are carefully chosen and instruct us.
And if his recent responses to Wright don't do the trick, then I'll be mad! Here's hoping I can express my anger in a constructive way.