Recently, I've found myself becoming increasingly frustrated with the situations that I find myself in. Take for example, Tuesday night. I am a tutor for a first generation college bound high school student in the area. We meet weekly to go over how classes are going, any homework that he or she may have questions on, discuss what's going to be necessary to get in to college, and basic life skills. But for some reason, my person does not want to have anything to do with me despite the fact that we worked together last year. Really. I can't even get basic eye contact or more then a "yes," "no," "maybe," or "I don't know" response from any question that I ask. The kid doesn't show me the assignments that need to be done or bring her materials so my hands are tied. Tuesday the same old routine started; I came in, said hi and was ignored. The student was working on homework but wouldn't show it to me or explain what it was. I tried unsuccessfully to get the kid to talk for a half an hour with no results. Then I saw the progress reports. I saw red. The kid's failing 2 classes, has a D and a C in another and still has the nerve to not bring the necessary materials and say that there is nothing to do and I'm stuck sitting here being ignored.
So things are bad. I say that I'm tired of watching the work that the student is doing go unnoticed and that there is no way the grades can reflect it because the homework's not getting turned in. Then I point out that the assignments that are turned in have generally received good marks. Then I said these words "I honestly don't know how to help you. You're keeping me out and I can't help you if this is how you want it to be."
I've never felt more utterly useless or unnecessary as I did in that moment, potentially more so because this is what I'm trained to do and what I studied in school. I'm mad at the kid, mad at the supervisor who insists that my student is doing fine and that there's not a problem and mad at myself for being so caught up in this mess. But how could I not loose it?
It's not just Tuesday night either. I find myself getting angry on behalf of others, my husband in particular. I hate seeing him getting pushed around between work and school and I hate seeing other people who should be able to identify what is taking place before their eyes not recognize the stress that they are placing on his already massively overburdened shoulders.
It's human nature to want to shirk out of your own responsibilities but why do we always forget that in doing so, we effectively throw someone else under the bus? Is that fleeting feeling of relief truly worth it when we are able to understand that all we have done is to burden another?
I am working on my temper- I've nowhere near perfected it- but I am consciously trying to not let it interfere with my interactions with others. That being said, I wonder if there is a difference between frustration and true anger. What if I'm justified in getting angry? What if it's on behalf of someone else? What if it's not for personal gain? What am I supposed to do then?
I once heard that anger is God's way of getting his people to react against injustice and actually do something about it. If that's the case, what should I be doing? I want so badly to go into these situations, both guns blazing, acting first and asking questions later but I can't and that feeling leaves me feeling even more frustrated and helpless than before. I just have to take on my own responsibilities and trust that God will take care of the rest. Unfortunately that is not the easiest option for me, (let's just say I have a few trust issues).