“I’m probably the angriest person here.”
That phrasing caught me by surprise. I was at dinner at the 2017 Automattic Grand Meetup in Whistler, BC. I was sitting next to one of the happiest and most enjoyable people I know.
This person went on to elaborate on what they meant. They weren’t angry about their current situation, the dinner, or anything else related to that particular point in time. Here’s a short list of things they were angry about:
- Certain parts of the education system in the US
- Gender gaps in tech
- The lack of self-advocacy techniques shared with underrepresented groups (in and out of tech)
We overuse the term “passionate” to describe our various areas of interest. Passion implies a strong belief and an interest in learning more about a particular issue. Often times, passion stops there short of action, short of follow-through that changes the situation for others.
“Anger” is different. It implies something more than passion. Yes, you hold a strong belief about the issue. Yes, you want to learn more about it. But, anger doesn’t stop there. It goes a step farther – you’re actively working to change the game for everyone else.
Many would characterize themselves as passionate. Not many would say they’re angry.