A Hindu saint who was visiting the river Ganges to bathe found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked:
‘Why do people shout in anger at each other?’
Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’
‘But why should you shout when the other person is right next to you?” Asked the saint. ‘You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained,
‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.
What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’
The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper, then they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’
He looked at his disciples and said, ‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’
I’ve gotten angry several times and I’m sure you have too. Anger can be completely normal. It is a healthy human emotion but if not controlled, it can get out of hand to harm us and the other parties involved.
Anger can be a vicious feeling that affects our mental and physical health. We get angry when things don’t go our way, when there’s a disagreement between two or more parties whether between friends, business partners or people in a committed relationship, when we struggle to be understood by the people who are close to us, when we feel powerless and hopeless. Anger can be due to a misplaced feeling of jealousy, hatred and the list goes on.
Anger can become corrosive and when this happens, it takes away our joy, our happiness. It’s like a disease of the mind with a sudden or insidious onset and that might have a very harmful effect on us.
When you’re angry, your heart turns cold. The suffering and agony of your friend, spouse, loved ones wound mean nothing to you, friendship at that point in time means nothing to you neither does love. Anger makes us blind to reason and infuses us with an intense rage which could sometimes lead us to act in an inappropriate manner. We shout and scream at each other. It becomes a competition of whose voice is the loudest. We say mean things to each other which sometimes we do not mean to say and this hurts those we say them to. It’s true that sometimes, people, things and stress could get in the way of everything.
Moments like this can affect our mood, our behavior and actions towards ourselves and others. We might begin to harbor feelings of anger, resentment and hate. And these are negative feelings that could destroy us and what we stand for.
We might have heard of the expression ‘control your anger before it controls you’ . It’s a self-explanatory expression.
Controlling anger takes courage, discipline, and love.
Love is a strong feeling of affection.
A good explanation of what Love entails is:
Love is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13 vs 4-8
• We must always be willing to forgive. Not just others but we must also learn to forgive ourselves and let go of grudges.
• We should never let anger get the best of us. Anger doesn’t help our spiritual, physical and mental growth. It takes out the good in us.
• We should always make peace with ourselves, our loved ones, friends, relatives and our environment. We should learn to be good to those we meet and try to leave a positive impact on them.
• Let us try to maintain harmony in all areas of our lives and try as much as possible to live, laugh, listen, and learn.
• Let us always accept and apologize for our mistakes when we are wrong and we must never hurt other by our words and actions.
If it’s very difficult to deal with your anger, then it’ll better to always prevent anything that’ll make you angry in the first place and always remind yourself you’re in control of the situation you’re faced with.
We’re all but imperfect humans but we can apply these principles highlighted above to foster better and improved cohabitation with everyone around us and our environment.
Here’s a song for relaxation.
READ MORE: STRESS AND HOW TO MANAGE IT
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