It makes me want to shout

Cindy ArpOur Town Outdoors

With apologies to the Isley Brothers

Cars are not only a means of transportation; they are soundproof capsules one can use to shout frustrations, or talk back to that pesky news reporter who is saying things with which you violently disagree.

I shout at the Supreme Court, telling them that they need an oversight committee NOT RUN BY THEM. I shout at the political party with which I am not aligned, telling them they are absolutely, totally wrong. I shout that if everybody would listen me, then peace, love and understanding would reign.

I shout, that is, until that pesky little voice of reason, you know, the one that butts in just when you’ve worked up a good steam, says “Maybe you’re wrong? Maybe there are some valid points within the group with which you disagree? Why does this make you so angry?” And lastly, and most devastatingly, “Do you really understand what is going on or are you just mad for another reason altogether?”

Awhile back, husband Dan and I listened to a podcast called The Iron Butterfly. (Iron Butterfly Podcast – Season 5 Ep 3 – Special Live Episode | Firefly, Mija and Simple Patriot) This podcast is written by and made for the women in the U.S. intelligence community, and within the podcast, the women discuss real stories and events faced by them while executing their job.

Sue Monroe Gordon (photo from Linkedin)

The podcast we listened to includes an interview with Sue Monroe Gordon, former principal deputy director of national intelligence. Sue happens to be Dan’s first cousin, and our entire family have watched her career since 1980 when she joined the CIA. During the interview, Sue was asked how she approaches a topic or person with whom she does not agree. Sue explained that she immerses herself in the topic, learning about it from the inside out. She is then equipped with the knowledge she needs to proceed.

The podcast went on to interview a few other intelligence community women and as the discussion continued, a common thread emerged. All these women approached difficulties with deliberation, calmness and a knowledge of what they were facing.

Their agenda was to execute their job in the best possible manner. This is not to say that they did not have opinions concerning their situations, but that they did not let their anger, disappointment or opinions cloud their judgement concerning the actions they needed to take.

I want to be more like these intelligent women. I want to react to situations with more circumspection, more knowledge and less anger. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop shouting in my car; it feels too good to let off the steam, but hopefully, after the shouting is over, I will calm down and follow these women’s path.

So, if you happen to pull up next to me at a traffic light and I seem to be shouting, kindly avert your eyes. I am releasing my anger so I can act accordingly. Who knows, I might begin to sing the Isley Brother’s joyful song, the one they often play once the dance floor heats up? “Shout!”

Cindy Arp, teacher/librarian, retired from Knox County Schools. She and husband Dan live in Heiskell


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