June 20      

Today's quotation:

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 wreck of his or her better self, burned out, blackened and dead, like forest trees over which a great fire has swept.

Julian P. Johnson

Today's Meditation:

When I witness people being angry, I always wonder just what triggers their anger.  I've seen what other people have done, but I've also seen other people respond to the same types of things without becoming angry at all, without losing their cool and letting their anger take control of them.  And that's what I see mostly when I see angry people-- human beings who have let their anger take control of their actions and their words, and who are doing and saying things that they normally wouldn't even consider doing or saying.

When we allow anger to take over, we definitely run the risk of allowing it to consume us.  Some people hold on to their anger for so long that they've lost touch of what it means to not be angry.  We do have better selves, though, and it's important that we allow that better self to deal with the issue at hand rather than allowing the anger to cause us to do or say things that we'll regret later.  Many a relationship has been killed by words said in anger; many a person has lost some of the best things in their lives because they allowed their anger to stifle their better selves and unleash their worst sides.

Our anger is natural-- there are some things that happen or that other people do that are going to anger us.  What we do with that anger, though, is up to us.  Personally, I like to use it as a trigger, if you will, a catalyst that forces me to look for another side of the story that is making me angry.  If someone says a lie about me, will I be just as angry if I consider that the person is very unhappy, and that lying about other people is a way that he or she is trying to deal with dissatisfaction in life?  If I'm angry because someone stole from me, what will happen to my anger if I find out that the person who stole is going through extremely tough times and just made a bad decision?

Let's not allow our anger to burn us up and leave us a shell of our former selves.  Anger is a very real emotion, but if we allow it to consume us, then we've lost a tremendous part of who we are, and we can cause true damage not just to ourselves, but to those whom we love.  When we become angry, let's turn that anger into something else that is much more constructive than anger, which is so often destructive.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of things get you angry?  Does your anger help to change or prevent such things?

What options other than anger are available to us as appropriate ways to respond to certain situations?

Why are so many people able to respond to many things with nothing else but anger?  Does their anger help them to improve their lives?

For further thought:

Tremendous 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 is transform it.  You somehow use that tremendous energy constructively on a task that needs to be done, or in a beneficial form of exercise.

Peace Pilgrim

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