Anger is something we cultivate a lot of in today's society. We rage on the internet, and in particular our anger is focused on our perceived scapegoats for societal ills: our ideological opponents.
It serves a temporary purpose, as a motivating energy for opposing things that might harm you but there are many reasons why anger is worth avoiding holding on to. On it’s most basic level it increases bodily inflammation, and cortisol making us significantly more prone to disease such as strokes and heart attacks.
Emotion is also contagious. So the anger we feel, spreads not only to those we care about, and interact with, but to everyone we interact with. More anger from you, is more anger from everyone. Even if you try to hide your anger it will still pass to others. This is a wide area of study called ‘emotional contagion’. The constant spread and amplification of anger will only bring it societally to a kind of crisis, perhaps even to violence. Which you might even want, until the very moment it arrives.
But there are more subtle reasons to avoid holding onto anger as well. Anger is blinding. A person caught in rage cannot reason, cannot strategize, cannot observe as accurately as a person who has a clear head. Anger is a source of constant mistakes. Even if there were legitimate enemies, you’ll notice that soldiers do not walk around in a constant rage – because it would make them terrible at their jobs.
Anger also prevents you from seeing the world as it is. With anger, you cannot empathize and without empathy you cannot understand multiple points of view. Nor can you entertain the possibility of being wrong. This leaves you with a very low information version of reality. The low information version of reality will lead to errors, and will harm you - not your enemies.
And it’s an obstacle to acceptance. There may be a great many things in the world you are literally powerless to change. Probably most things if we are honest. If you don’t cease to be angry about them, you might never be happy. A price you, but the world, does not pay.
If you let your anger out, and don’t hold onto it, it can be very personally transformative. Not only making you a healthier, and happier person, but a more effective fighter for whatever cause you choose to apply yourself to.