'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

MenoSundays; Life Lived Lovingly

One of the big obstacles we have to manage in our lives is the torment of our emotions. There is a purpose for them, of course, as they oil the fabric of society. However, all too often we allow our emotions to rule and run life, rather than taking charge with our intellect and higher-functioning selves.
“Righteous anger” is tricky. My anger at someone else’s sin does not prove my virtue. 
Saint Francis of Assisi once said: “Nothing should displease a servant of God except sin. No matter how another person may sin, if a servant of God becomes disturbed and angry because of this and not because of charity, he is storing up guilt for himself” (Admonition XI).
As Matthew 7:3 tells us, a speck in someone else’s eye is much easier to see than a plank in my own.
–from the pages of St. Anthony Messenger
Whilst this quote addresses things from the Christian perspective, it applies simply to the Human, with or without faith. This is one of biggest culprits when we begin to examine our emotions. Anger arises from a sense of not having control, of feeling in some way invaded, of feeling threatened, frustrated, betrayed... endless causes may be identified. Are they all valid though? This is where we have to apply our rational side as much as possible.

Anger serves a purpose in certain situations, no doubt; when a child reaches it's hand to the fire, for example, the parent will be best to shout in anger NO! in order to prevent a horrible result.

If, however, that child only ever hears NO! in response to everything it does, it can become damaged and paralysed in its personality, not knowing the possibilities of YES! What is more, the parent who is ever in a state of NO-ness can never be contented, peaceful, or receive the love and respect they may well desire. They themselves may have been the victim of a NO parent... the cycle has to be broken and all it takes is for a rational thought to enter. Take a deep breath. Delay response. Discuss rather than curse.

In our current age we hear a lot about 'road rage' and other forms of social anger, which the perpetrators seek to justify and claim a 'right' to their anger. Rarely is there a genuine basis for such justification though. Actually, the kind of anger which throws punches, spouts mean and viscous language or results in self-harm is never righteous. It is certainly a symptom of needs not being met and has a psychosocial matrix behind it, but it can never be claimed as righteous.

Righteous anger can only truly be claimed when it is not selfish. It is an anger which expresses itself intellectually and knows how to debate robustly in order to set right any injustice.

For most of us, anger is just an unthinking response when we are tired, lazy or just haven't had enough sleep. It results in strife as it infringes on others' lives. No. Anger is not a useful emotion and we would do well to step back and assess ourselves if we find that anger is becoming part of everyday life.


5 comments:

  1. YaYa thank you for the inspirational post. It surely gives us food for thought...and hopefully we will step back and take a breath next time we feel angry
    Hugs HiC

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  2. If possible always walk away from anger it's often just not worth it.
    Merle....

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  3. Yes, an interesting topic indeed, the extent to which anger is, or is not, a useful emotion.
    I was very much brought up to believe that anger is always negative, but have come to understand that in some circumstances, anger can be a spur to making necessary changes.
    Cheers, Gail.

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  4. OH, my. The current Mouth and Chief gives me a huge challenge in this area..... namaste, janice xx

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  5. I've been trying to channel my anger into reading stories. This is part of our Truth and Reconciliation with First Nations.
    In the US, it is listening to the same stories of racism.
    It helps understand why football players are taking a knee. This show was quite indicative of the awful racism that prevails.
    https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/623/we-are-in-the-future
    These are difficult. But listen and understand we must.

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