On a recent plane flight I happened to open the magazine provided for passengers by the airlinein the seat back pocket. In the magazine there was an article titled “Break Room” about these“Anger Rooms” that are starting to pop up around the country.
For between $25 and $75 a person gets the opportunity to smash a fake office, living room orkitchen. The company can also provide mannequins to destroy as well.
Donna Alexander, the founder of Anger Rooms said the idea is to provide “a place for people tosafely lash out without any consequences.”
After reading this line in the article my heart sank. “Are we really living in this place?” Iwondered. Do we live in such a brutal out of control society that it would be considered goodtherapy or appropriate for a person to spontaneously destroy stuff or mannequins posing as realpeople? Is the next great trend for the modern world anger and violence? Are we that selfish?Have we lost touch with our humanity?
These Anger Rooms are proof of our society’s entitlement mindset. The business is based onthe idea that a person should be allowed to be as aggressive as they want to when they feel anemotion coming on, and not have to follow God’s law of cause and effect.
It is a false ideology that people need to “lash out” in order to calm down. Sure, when a persongets angry and aggressive they release endorphins which cause a high and then a low similar tothe high and low induced by exercise, but that kind of chemical manipulation isn’t calm. It isn’tsafe either.
It isn’t safe for a person to feel like they have to beat something or smash something to gaincontrol of themselves again. What could happen to a person who routinely visits Anger Roomsto “lash out” and then one day is in a town without an Anger Room? What could they feelentitled to do?
According to the employees of Anger Room in Atlanta the solution to this potentially unsafesituation is clearly more shops. In one video on www.angerroom.com the staff memberinterviewed said, “If there were an Anger Room on every corner, the world would be a betterplace.” In the “Hemispheres” magazine the company said that they have intentions to takeAnger Rooms global in 2017.
It saddens me that there is a market for paid anger sessions.
Don’t forget that it was the villain in the recent Star Wars movie who lost control, not the goodguys. Kylo Ren, dressed in his black cape and mask, repeatedly lashed out in anger with hislight saber on computers and in entire rooms aboard his ship. No one was there. The propertywas his. He didn’t hurt anyone during those anger sessions. Despite all of this my son leanedover to me in the movie and said, “Mom, he is totally out of instructional control.” It was obviousthat his evilness and out of control behaviors complimented each other.
As I look at the social and psychological steps we have taken in recent years to arrive at thisnew type of emotion-based Anger Room business, I see a society living a lie. The lie is that theysee themselves as more humane and loving than ever before yet there are more bullying casesat school than ever before, more cyber bullying than ever before and more domestic violenceand abuse cases than ever before. Is our society going more and more out of control? Are weliving in a never ending violent video game? Does war have to be in our heads as well as on ourtelevisions?
I am in my 40s. When I was a child most children still didn’t talk back to their parents. Now daysI have seen children yell and hit their parents, even in front of other adults and in public places.In a recent Wall Street Journal article titled “Parenting in the Age of Awfulness” Leonard Saxsaid, “Children are immersed in a culture that stokes disrespect.”
What could be more disrespectful than a violent video game aimed at hurting another imaginaryperson for no apparent reason. And what about the way people talk to each other on socialmedia and commentary threads on blogs? People are hostile and aggressive and this is seenas a sign of power. Text talking cuts out all civility in discourse. And, finally the interactions seenin television and movies are selfish and image as well as power based.
On the internet we preach of personal power but never preach of self-restraint. Accepting noanswers is not an option in most people’s minds. This is proven when young parents ignoreauthority as they let their children run wild in businesses and public places. We are missingboundaries and no answers. We need self-government.
This might go down in history as one of the most negative articles I have ever written, but I thinkit is important to take in the whole picture. Society at large doesn’t seem to be filling in themissing pieces.
We don’t need places to lose more control and ignore consequences. Instead we need thesource of true control, and to focus on positive consequences. Without consequences there isno good and no happiness as well as no bad. Good choices create good consequences and ahappy life. We need to put off the anger, not feed it, and show the world how to find the realpower and the real happiness by learning self-government.
The increased social emphasis on anti-bullying has increased bullying, and the increase of avariety of media addictions and disconnection from family has created more selfishness andviolent tendencies. Entitlement mentality is at an all time high and respect is at an all time low.Even self-respect is hard to find.
The history of this social change and reasons why we are now in this violence mess could all bediscussed at length, but the solution is simple and short. Roles. If parents and childrenunderstood their roles again the world would be different. No answers would be given whenneeded and problem solving would occur with the help of consequences. When peopleunderstand their roles at home they remain more free from the intrusion of outside influencesupon their roles. The media would become less important and be used less frequently. The roleof media in our lives would be considered more carefully.
I have noticed that parents who know their roles and frequently teach and correct their childrenare also the parents who analyze the influences coming into the home more as well.
Knowing our roles and understanding them is only half he battle though. We must know how toproperly use them. This means we need to know how to do the teaching with principle and skill.This is why I teach self-government.
Anger Room and Promotional Video: http://www.angerroom.com/
Hemispheres Magazine by United Airlines: http://www.unitedmags.com/
“Parenting in the Age of Awfulness” http://www.wsj.com/articles/parenting-in-the-age-of-awfulness-1450397051
Kylo Ren Temper tantrum video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaZ0L7aDx50