I’ve often wished I could smite. I covet the ability to draw a pillar of light & energy from the sky at will, then to fry someone on the spot when they irritated me.
Needless to say, when Nintendo Wii’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl came out, Pikachu was hands down my favorite character.
He’s such a cuddly little bugger. You run up to your opponent, open your cute little arms for a big hug, and then call down the wrath of god, incinerating everyone around you.
Anyway, my last job was a pretty stressful situation. Consequently, my desire to smite increased exponentially. For example, someone would do some small-potatoes-bonehead-thing, like cutting off my car, and I would want to leap out at the next red light, rip their car door open, and rain down bolts of sulfurous death-rays onto their head.
After running out of places to hide the bodies, I sensed that this was not altogether healthy, gave my two weeks notice, and evacuated the building shortly thereafter.
Here’s the point. If you find your wrath (or frustration, or sadness) building to dangerous levels on a regular basis, you’ve got to make a change. Put up with what you can, but when it becomes too much, take action.
In his story, Card describes a philosophy called Ua Lava, loosely translated as “Enough already!” He says, “…when bad fortune comes, you bear it until it becomes unbearable- your family is hungry, or you can no longer function in your work. And then again, you say, ‘Enough already,’ and you change something. You move, you change careers, you let your spouse make all the decisions…You don’t endure the unendurable.” Similarly, if you have a surplus of good fortune, you take that surplus and you give it away.
To take a step back here, let me say that I’m not insisting that you adopt this philosophy, and I’m not attempting to make light of your problems, or the complexities of adopting a solution. I don’t know enough about your situation to judge, and anyway, nobody asked me to in the first place. I’m just saying, you can’t expect to dominate the world if you can’t even dominate yourself enough to make a change.
One more thing – even in the midst of the worst situations, laugh when you can, because unless you work alone, like contract computer programmers or assassins, your mood will affect those around you. Luckily, at this last job, I was graced with a co-worker whose compassion and sense of humor could help me to find something to smile about on the most difficult days. Here is a link to his wonderful blog that allows me to get my fix even though we no longer work together in a state of excruciating triage.