Corned Beef and Getting Angry

Connecting Martin Luther and Cooking

I brined a beef brisket for ten days recently.


Ten days it lay covered in a bath of salt, sugar, spices, berries, and seeds.

Ten days getting ready.  But I could have prepared it in the brine for ten more days, and I still wouldn’t have had the marvelous corned beef dinner that came into being with heat and cooking.  Heat changed my brined hunk of meat into tender, flavorful corned beef.


Connecting Martin Luther and cooking made me think about heat and then about strong emotions.

Martin Luther

Luther “cooked” the Protestant Reformation into being through his strong emotions. So angry with the selling of indulgences to innocent unlearned believers, he pounded his 95 theses onto a door.  He publicly threw into the fire a papal bull threatening him with excommunication.  He railed against clerical corruption.  His strong emotions changed the history of the Western world.

I have been “in the brine” for years, preparing.  I have lived long and learned much and had my times of suffering making me sensitive to suffering around me.  I can see injustice or lack of ethical behavior.  I can feel it.  I know what I feel and why.

But I have been a self-control freak.

I’ve always valued my emotional intelligence, part of which is self-control.  I don’t get angry or overly emotional, especially at work.  Shouldn’t logic and reason and self-control prevail in the workplace?  Yes but, is it emotional intelligence I’m showing or is it just being comfortable and protecting my place in the status quo?

Anger can be destructive, but it is also what changes the world for the better.  When people sit back unwilling to get angry about wrong situations, things don’t change.   Luther had passion, he suffered with a burning anger over wrong.  That’s what happens when people get angry about a wrong that needs to be righted.

These are the times I should and will exert that magnificent self-control I have cultivated. I will exert it over selfish anger:

  • When things aren’t going my way
  • When someone’s personality annoys the heck out of me
  • When I don’t feel my needs are being met
  • When somebody does something stupid like cut me off in traffic

But when things are not right at work – people are being mistreated or abused, cover up or lying is happening, when things are being done or said which are wrong, hurtful to people, morally bankrupt I should let myself heat up, starting with baby steps, vocalizing more strongly my opposition to what I see wrong in the workplace.

I don’t think I have the constitution to ever be an angry Martin Luther or an angry Martin Luther King or an angry woman who stormed the Bastille July 14, 1789 or an angry bereaved Candy Lightner who stood up against drunk driving and created MADD, but I can start getting a little angry over things that are wrong, instead of being brined, but like uncooked meat, of not much use in changing my world.


I explained to a friend recently that the goal of this “Connecting” blog has been to make me think more deeply and write about it with the hope that some of my writing will resonate with, or at least bring enjoyment to my readers.

Next time should be another wild thought exercise as I connect the movie A History of Violence with the nineteenth century Verdi opera Aida!




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2 Responses to Corned Beef and Getting Angry

  1. A very powerful enabling of anger when there is an ignored unmet need for positive change. Thanks!

  2. Faith Pinsent says:

    It has been called “righteous indignation”, but it needs to be strong enough to lead one to action.

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