“Anger is but a brief madness”, as Shakespeare said. It is one of the destructive passions and a great block to communication. It is like a runaway horse which makes the rider totally lose his direction by taking him on a sort of blindfolded ride. It has been aptly compared to a storm because of the havoc it can cause. It is blind fury at times and the devastation it brings about is meaningless but it must have its way like a stubborn child who is accustomed to throwing tantrums. In our saner moments we regret what we do in our anger.
Many people say that other people make them angry. This is just not true. No one can make us angry unless we decide to be angry, unless we consent to be angry. At the most others can provoke us to anger. But we have the freedom to respond to the provocation or not. This truth can be observed in daily life. What makes one person angry does not make another angry. If for example someone insults you with a bad word you might respond by replying with another bad word. Another person might just ignore the insult. A third one might start a dialogue about the hurt.
The anger is not in the other person . It is in us. It is like the venom fang of the cobra. It can choose to bite with the ordinary teeth or with the venomous fang. If it eats food it will use the ordinary teeth. If it is under physical threat it will use the venomous teeth to immobilize the enemy.
It is so very important to control our anger. It is a great handicap to flare up for anything. Some seem to think they have a right to be angry and yell at people otherwise they are having a raw deal or some inalienable right is denied them. Uncontrolled anger could result in injury, damage , offending words, verbal abuse, blows or even murder. Under influence of anger one loses presence of mind, the memory makes slips and operational efficiency is affected. An angry athlete or musician , for example, cannot perform well because of lack of harmony with self.
One can say very hurting or damaging words in the heat of anger. Anger can terminate cherished lifelong friendships. In anger we may imprudently blurt out something we never intended to say. Angry words once uttered cannot be taken back. They are like the arrows that fly off from the bow. They are released for ever into time. We may apologies but it will be like doing cosmetic surgery on a ninety nine percent degree burn patient. The uttering of angry words is like the dropping and shattering of a glass jar on the floor. Even if you glue back all the broken pieces it will never be the same glass jar again.
There are several ways to control anger. The basic one is , of course, to build up a calm demeanor . This is the result of a complex of many factors. I would mention the following among them.
1. Consider all people your equal, no one your inferior.
2. Respect the dignity of each individual.
3. Learn how to agree to disagree
4. Respect people’s freedom of opinions, beliefs, actions.
5. Have a humble opinion of oneself free from any complex
6. Believe in the goodness of people
7. practice every day meditation, nature walk etc.
8. believe in God’s providence.
There are also practical on-the-spot skills one can adopt to control anger.
1. Count 1 to 50 before you do or say anything.
2. Think of God in your heart and pray for calm
3. Excuse yourself and leave the spot for the moment if possible
3. Go for a walk or vigorous exercise
Never act in anger. If you decide to do something write it down on paper, keep it with you for a couple of days, read it again and act on it only if now you are sure you have made the right decision.
Parents who give in to the temper tantrums of their child even after it grows up are rearing a monster for life. Such a person will be a total misfit in any civilized society. You will have a guaranteed anti-social in the family.
Let me find out
1.What things or which persons make angry? Why?
2. Has any angry outburst landed me in trouble any time?