Can We Compost Our Anger?

soukup/CC BY 2.0

From composting my house move to a post on how to compost your bees, I've been known to spend a lot of time thinking about composting and what can and can't be added to the compost heap. So it's little wonder that a post over at Shareable caught my eye, in which psychoanalytic psychiatrist Madeleine Lansky explains the Composting Anger program she developed at the Occupy San Francisco camp in response to concerns about personal safety, mental illness and conflict within the camp. The composting aspect of it is, of course, largely a metaphor. But it is a metaphor that teaches us a lot:

Composting, of course, is nature’s process of recycling biologic materials into rich, fertile soil. As a psychoanalytic psychiatrist, I like to think of my work as a kind of composting, a sort of digestive process, where one’s internal garbage is turned into fertilizer for a more rich and rewarding life. I also like to think of the Occupy movement in a similar light: that it provides a chance for some serious composting of how our society is working right now, so that we can extract the seeds of usefulness and turn the toxic elements into fertile opportunities for growth.

Given the importance of personal resilience within the environmental movement, maybe we could all do with composting a little anger.

Tags: Activism | Communities | Composting | Occupy Wall Street | San Francisco | United States

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