Anger

Image result for angerBruce Weinstein wrote an article some time ago about anger and what directs it and I have found that it most cases it is true about most individuals that I know. He said and I quote “All we have to do is open the newspaper, turn on the TV, or look at the world around us, and it won’t take long to find something that makes us mad. Whether it’s the high price of groceries and gas, the indignities of air travel, or the person in the next cubicle yakking loudly on a cell phone during working hours, every day we encounter plenty of things to keep our blood pressure at an unhealthy high.”

My personal favorite is my rare visit to the doctor, that new thirty something physician that never understood the term service or code of ethics but he understands the checkbook.

Dr. Weinstein continues “It has been said that it is harmful to others and ourselves to vent our anger.”

But I tend to disagree with the latter. It has also been said that it can be unhealthy and unwise to keep it bottled up. I can attest to that, I used to do just that. I am much wiser now.

This part of the article I tend to agree with: “that anger is the intense feeling associated with a perceived injustice.” …. Employees who spend too much time at work making personal phone calls or surfing the Internet incur the wrath of their boss and their colleagues because they’re doing something they shouldn’t be doing” (and not doing something they should be doing, namely their work). “Although the experience of anger is psychological, its roots are in the realm of ethics; we get angry when we believe others have violated their ethical obligations.”

Fair enough, I get angry for just those very reasons, I always have, I suppose I always will.

It is said that ethics, plays a role not just in what gives rise to anger, but in what I as an individual choose to do with it. When I get anger I can do great harm and I have been trained to do so. But do I not have an ethical obligation to do no harm except in self defense? Those are the chooses we make when we display such anger and act upon it.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a celebrated Vietnamese Buddhist monk, noted that some people believe a good way to deal with anger is to beat up a pillow. However, he believes this makes us feel worse because we intensify the very feelings we’re trying to dissipate. Keeping our anger bottled up isn’t an acceptable solution either, since doing so won’t change the situation we’re angry about, and we’re more likely to erupt with hostility somewhere down the line, which benefits no one. What, then, are some better ways of dealing with anger?

So what do I do when I get mad… really mad… I stop, I don’t react right away; I breathe deeply; I like to cool down; I try to take some time to evaluate the situation. Sally says that I need to put myself in their shoes for a second; What response is most likely the most effective?

One lesson I learned in combat training is never attack a larger opposing force unless you have some type of advantage, even then never let them know you are coming.

To some, all of this seems to lead me down the path of aggression, but that’s not always so or let me say not physical aggression. There is always an alternative….. I know this doesn’t sound very Christian of me, does it. I suppose not, but I can blame that on the devil.

%d bloggers like this: