You are offended. Someone called you a donkey’s rear end. Maybe they had good reason. You let your momentary ire subside. Or maybe you cannot help but harbor negative feelings towards that person. You trip over a box someone left on the floor. You kick it feeling rage well up. Damned inconsiderateness. You’ve told the slob before to put things away. You’ll get back at ’em. You come home to find your place has been burgled. Valuables and sentimental items have been taken. You are beside yourself!!  When the police come you vent on them. Despite their empathy and efforts to help, you silently vow revenge on the most likely suspect, a neighborhood addict.

So many ways to intrude on your peace, to jar your equilibrium. Not a day goes by that you do not experience an assault or frustration. Hot coffee spills on your lap; a simple phone call leaves you fuming as you frantically punch numbers trying to reach a ‘live’ person. Life can be a pain!!  Though you try to avoid confrontations, they just happen. Walk down the street; a panhandler regales you:  “Need bus fare to get home. How ‘bout a quarter mate?”  What to do.

You ALWAYS have a choice. You can embrace and nurture anger. You can be aggressive and react vehemently to all threats … always simmering, poised to spew forth invective … ready to use bodily force if necessary. The world will know you mean business!!  You don’t take any bullshit!!

OR you can try to be more accepting … realize you are part of an imperfect world … expect life to be ‘unfair’ at times. Nature’s destructiveness, threats from strangers, lies maligning you:  these are inevitable. Maintaining a placid attitude will temper your reactions … aid you in responding thoughtfully and effectively. Why throw a plate when you can ‘toss off’ a witty barb? “If your IQ was any lower, your keeper would have to water you.” 

Anger has always been a dynamic human motivator, necessary at times to survive. Strong emotions, fear, rage, propel adrenalin that jolts us into violent behavior. At its extreme it is difficult to subdue. So most often we ‘pull in the reigns’ on this escalating ire before a nasty clash leads to tragedy. No one wants pain and suffering. Or to be incarcerated.

During the course of your lifetime however, you may never encounter a major threat. Let’s hope. But you will always be challenged with a certain amount of nastiness. ‘Shit happens’ and some of it will ‘fall on your head’. You can obsess on this ‘negative’. Over and over you can tell yourself how bad the situation is. Most often this involves a person. And oddly enough your preoccupation with your harsh judgment gives you a sense of power. You learn to hate. The ‘object’ of your scorn is beneath you. He or she does not deserve to live. You imagine destroying this person … not bodily. In your mind you will triumph!! 

This habit of selective rancor can evolve. You can eschew indiscriminately. Political groups, nationalities, religions … there is ‘no end’ to what you can find offensive. The world is rife with destruction thanks to this attitude. Hate wielding anger:  this can overwhelm you. And in this mindset tolerance, much less caring, is virtually impossible. Your innate desire to love and be loved stagnates under a dark cloud. This is the saddest, most pathetic loss of human potential there is!! 

Future ‘Hitlers’ will inevitably spawn from malignant minds who encourage anger as an efficient motivator. They will develop a false sense of invincibility much like unwieldy teenagers. One can only hope these irrational power hungry individuals will be seen for what they are and contained … and contemned.

But fortunately you have not let yourself get to this extreme. You do not hate most people and want to take over the world. Great. You do try to care, to be considerate. You want to love, truly love … now and forever. Just be careful not to let your occasional fits of ‘righteous’ reaction to perceived wrongs become more than a brief experience of visceral indignation. Never take a prolonged walk down the ‘spite-filled’ road of nihilism listening to arrogant misanthropes exhorting you. For it is a dark, dead-end trek!!  It is not for you.



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