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feel very bad for angry people, for I see them creating
their own hells to live in, and they usually don't even realize it.
seen few things in the world that deserve the kind of
anger that we see on a regular basis; on the radio this
morning, one of the disc jockeys was telling about taking
her mother to a cancer treatment center. She parked the
car close to the entrance to help her mother into the
center, and as soon as she was out of the car, the person
in the car behind her started laying on the horn. This
person actually came up and hit the back of her car with
his car-- not hard enough to do any damage, but hard
enough to let them know he was angry.
I feel very sad for this man. He can't be happy with life
if such a trivial thing can cause such rage in him. Inner
peace? Forget it. He's probably so busy looking for
excuses to be angry that he never notices the beauty of
the world, the wonderful parts of life, the nice people
who surround him every day. I've known people like him,
and there's no convincing them that life is wonderful,
because it can't be since people are such jerks. But
people aren't jerks. They do jerk-like things on a
regular basis--we all do--but that doesn't make us jerks.
The angry person reacts in anger and causes others to be
angry, and a cycle begins. My hope is that I'm able to be
a person who ends such a cycle, a person who reacts to
anger with love and understanding, because the angry
people need that more than anything else.
anger is merely perpetuating these people's belief that
their anger is justified, but reacting in love may get
them to question whether or not their anger is justified,
effective, and/or helpful to them.
We can't psychoanalyze everyone we meet. We can't say
this person is angry because she's been neglected, or
this one is angry because he's trying to compensate for
feelings of inadequacy. We need to separate the anger
from the person, the creation of God who stands before us
and who deserves our love.
When I'm tempted to react angrily myself, I try to
remember to ask myself this question: Am I contributing
to the anger in the world, or am I contributing to the
peace and love in the world? I need to contribute to the
love--we all do. Love is the only power that can cause a
course, we have to look at the other side of anger--the side
that gets us to act when we see an injustice done to another
person, the side that causes the feeling of righteous
indignation that gets us moving and feeling for others.
There is injustice in the world, and as Arthur Ponsoby points
out below, if our lack of anger is a sign of indifference,
then it's a big problem for us and for those people with whom
we share the world.
we still have to control this anger, as Aristotle points out
below. Unchecked and misdirected anger is destructive,
and if we're to be angry at all, we want that anger to be
constructive, not destructive. Controlling our anger
takes learning and practice, and we have to keep learning from
our mistakes and the mistakes of others to learn how to use
our anger effectively, and to know when to recognize anger
that's justified, and anger that's a reflection, a symptom, of
something else that's going wrong in our lives.
Anger destroys the angry person and all
those around him or her. The
can cause fear and
terror among his children. The angry
wife and mother
manipulate with a force and subtlety that can be
years. Open anger roars through human relations with a
destructive force--a firestorm. The hidden anger that burns and attacks
can last for years. It destroys the underbrush; it twists
and poisons the ground growth. And so with us. The ferocious exterior
uncontrollable except over
a long period of work and time.
We must isolate our anger and allow it to burn itself out.
Edward J. Lavin
people behind the words
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Two - Year Three
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Rhodes' slave! Selling shoes and gingham,
Flour and bacon, overalls, clothing, all day long
For fourteen hours a day for three hundred and thirteen
for more than twenty years.
Saying "Yes'm" and "Yes, sir" and
A thousand times a day, and all for fifty dollars a month.
Living in this stinking room in the rattle-trap "Commercial."
And compelled to go to Sunday School, and to listen
To the Rev. Abner Peet one hundred and four times a year
For more than an hour at a time,
Because Thomas Rhodes ran the church
As well as the store and the bank.
So while I was tying my neck-tie that morning
I suddenly saw myself in the glass:
My hair all gray, my face like a sodden pie.
So I cursed and cursed: You damned old thing!
You cowardly dog! You rotten pauper!
You Rhodes' slave! Till Roger Baughman
Thought I was having a fight with someone,
And looked through the transom just in time
To see me fall on the floor in a heap
From a broken vein in my head.
Edgar Lee Masters
from Spoon River Anthology
How could I feel so
miserable in the midst of such splendor? The question flashed
through me all at once, not waiting for words to express it. The
more slowly: No one makes you angry. Anger,
like love, is something you choose.
Stunned, I sat down in the
middle of the field I'd been walking through.
I knew I needed to
look within myself, let go of my anger and have a quiet talk with God.
No person can think clearly
his or her fists are clenched.
George Jean Nathan
is a symptom, a way of
cloaking and expressing feelings
bitterness, grief and, most of all, fear.
is not only inevitable, it
is necessary. Its absence
means indifference, the most
disastrous of all human failings.
as anger lives, it continues
fruitful parent of
They are fools who cannot be angry;
but they are wise people who will not.
in its time and place,
May assume a kind of grace.
It must have some reason in it,
And not last beyond a minute.
If to further lengths it go,
It does into malice grow.
'Tis the difference we can see
'Twixt the serpent and the bee.
If the latter you provoke,
It inflicts a hasty stroke,
Put you to some little pain,
But it never stings again.
in tufted bush or brake
Lurks the poison-swelled snake
Nursing up his cherished wrath;
In the purlieus* of his path,
In the cold, or in the warm,
Mean him good, or mean him harm,
Wheresoever fate may bring you
The vile snake will always sting you.
and Mary Lamb
where one goes often
makes you smaller, while forgiveness
you to grow beyond
what you were.
| Ruby stepped
toward him. "Edward," she said softly. It was
the first time she had called him by name. "Learn this from me.
Holding anger is a poison. It eats you from inside. We
hating is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us. But
hatred is a curved blade. And the harm we do, we do to
"Forgive, Edward. Forgive.
Do you remember the lightness
you felt when you first arrived in heaven?"
Eddie did. Where is my pain?
"That's because no one is born with
anger. And when we die,
the soul is freed of it. But now, here, in order to move on, you must
understand why you felt what you did, and why you no longer need to
She touched his hand.
"You need to forgive your father."
The Five People You Meet in Heaven
It is wise to
direct your anger towards problems--not people;
to focus your energies on answers--not excuses.
William Arthur Ward
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Thinkers - the people behind the words
are often very frightened of their anger. They feel it will
cause them to do
something harmful. If you have this fear, create a safe
situation where you can
express your anger, alone or with a trusted therapist or friend.
to talk angrily, shout, hit pillows, whatever you feel like. Once
you've done this
in a safe environment, you will have released some of the charge, and
you can look
underneath the anger to find what you need to do to take better care
Like any emotion, anger is a valuable tool, teaching us
who we are and how we feel.
As a girl my temper often got out of
bounds. But one day when I
became angry at a friend over
some trivial matter, my mother said
to me, "Elizabeth,
anyone who angers you conquers you."
angry can sometimes be like leaping into a wonderfully
responsive sports car, gunning the motor, taking off at a high
speed and then discovering the brakes are out of order.
best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.
greatest remedy for anger is delay.
when you are angry and
make the best speech you will ever regret.
you are patient in one moment of anger,
you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.
|Anger is like flowing water;
there's nothing wrong with it as long as you
let it flow. Hate is like stagnant water; anger that you denied
freedom to feel, the freedom to flow; water that you gathered in one
and left to forget. Stagnant water becomes dirty, stinky,
poisonous, deadly; that is your hate. On flowing water travels little
boats; paper boats of forgiveness. Allow yourself to feel anger, allow
waters to flow, along with all the paper boats of forgiveness. Be
C. JoyBell C.
Those who smile rather than rage are always the
every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
source of peace is within us; so also the source of war.
is within us, and not outside.
The source of war is not the
existence of nuclear weapons
or other arms.
It is the minds of human
beings who decide to push the button
and to use those
arms out of hatred, anger or greed.
I have learnt through bitter
experience the one supreme lesson to
conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into
energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted
into a power which can move the world.
anger is both an emotion and often a coping response,
it falls into a special category, which Nicholas R.M. Martin, author
of An Operator's Manual for Successful Living, calls
emotions." He states that most of us have learned to feel
comfortable with anger that the underlying feelings it covers, and
we are often more quick to express that anger than the
feelings closer to the heart.
He mentions four standard feelings that tend to precede anger:
fear, hurt, frustration, and injustice. Although the list of
underlying feelings may be much longer, Martin feels these four
are perhaps the most common and could be called "the four pillars
that hold up the roof of anger."
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| Never respond
to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if
he or she deserves it. . . . Don't allow his or her anger
to become your anger.
Anger. . . it's
a paralyzing emotion. You can't get anything done. People
sort of think it's an interesting, passionate, and igniting feeling; I
think it's any of that. It's helpless, it's absence of control,
and I need
all of my skills, all of the control, all of my powers, and anger
doesn't provide any of that. I have no use for it whatsoever.
in a radio interview, 1987
seeks to separate rather than join, to tear down rather
than build up, to gain an advantage rather than to share.
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Two - Year Three
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comfortable in the world we live in. It explores 57 different
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| There is no passion
that so shakes the clarity of our judgment as
anger. Things will truly seem different to us when
we have quieted and cooled down.
people are blind and foolish, for reason at such a time takes
flight and, in her absence, wrath plunders all the riches of the
while the judgment remains the prisoner of its own pride.
energy comes with anger. Do not suppress it: that would
only hurt you inside. Do not express it: this would not
only hurt you
inside, it would cause ripples in your surroundings. What you do
transform it. You somehow use that tremendous energy
on a task that needs to be done, or in a beneficial form of exercise.
| Anger burns up all that is noble. It is
a consuming fire, born in the fires
of destruction. At the end, it leaves the victim nothing but a
his or her better self, burned out, blackened and dead,
like forest trees over which a great fire has swept.
Julian P. Johnson
who give no fuel to fire put it out, and likewise those who do
not in the beginning nurse their wrath and do not puff themselves
up with anger take precautions against it and destroy it.
will not be punished for your anger,
you will be punished by your anger. . . .
Let a person overcome anger by love.