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Saturday, April 04, 2020

In times of Anger – the place of Moderation and Silence

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor G


“If you are patient in the moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” – Chinese proverb.

Anger begins as a raging fire from within the core of a man. It is an emotional state that involves a strong hostile response to a perceived threat. Such persons experiencing anger would mostly have elevated heart rates, high blood pressure, and increased response to unforeseen danger. Inadvertently, such individual dwell in a fight-flight mood. In moments of anger, it is almost impossible for a man to think straight; most people in such moments take harsh and unevaluated decisions without batting an eyelid. And the consequences of their actions later stares at them like a ghost in the dark.

Sadly, it has come to the limelight that the fury of anger between related persons, is often more intensified than that seen between unrelated persons. When brothers kill each other in anger, just like Cain did to Abel, or despise each other unjustly, just like Josephs brothers did to Joseph; it becomes very obvious that we have no peace amongst ourselves because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

One evening while trekking back home, suddenly I saw a brother with all his might, push his sister into a ditch full of sharp woods. Immediately, my heart skipped beats, I was lost in fear, and was yet to believe my eyes. People ran out to see what was happening but the young boy left his wailing sister in the ditch and walked away. Having seen what happened firsthand, I quickly quickened my steps and walked after this young boy. On getting to him, I initiated a conversation by greeting him and I went straight to why I wanted to discuss with him;

“My friend, why did you push your sister so hard?” I asked.
“She just always gets me annoyed,” He replied with a frown on his face.

Already, I could see the veil of guilt covering his face, and then I said to him,
“My friend, what if she has died from that deadly push, don’t you know you would now be a MURDERER? You must be careful about the things you do so that you don’t end up in regrets.”

I left him and walked away. As I walked away, I turned back and discovered that the young boy was now stuck where I left him, and he kept looking at me, while he thought about what I told him. I continued on my journey with a strong conviction that he would turn a new leaf.

We all know that whatever has pros has its cons, and anger is no exception. One must always bear in mind that happiness and anger are close by or distant enemies, depending on the priority accorded to them. The same way happiness motivates a father to bless his children, so does anger provoke the same father to place curses on his children. One striking feature of both happiness and anger is their transient nature. They don’t last long but yet they could leave unforgettable imprints in our life and society.

Anyone wishing away anger from the character of a man is living in a fool’s paradise. Anger has been one of the inerasable natural traits of man. Thus asking people not to get angry over what disrupts or threatens their countenance is just like asking people to wash their eyeballs with soap while having a bath. Even the writer won’t try it. However, teaching people to incorporate the ‘law of MODERATION’ into whatever they are doing, will save lots of people from the attacks of regret.

The law of moderation enunciates that anything on earth that becomes excessive brings nothing but suffering. This principle applies to every attribute of man. Always be imaginative and sensitive enough to weigh your actions e.g., anger on a scale of ‘1 to 8.’ Then mark ‘3’ as the moderation point, you would discover that the consequential effect of anger as it rises from 1 and stops at 3, is less when compared to its disastrous effect when it rises from 1 to 7. The outcome of both raging situations will be totally different.

“It is only when a mosquito lands on your testicles, you will truly learn that there is always a way to solve problems without using anger and violence” – Confucius

You must understand that the law of moderation does not work alone. Other laws such as the law of cause and effect, law of action and reaction, law of attraction, and law of karma, are all either taking place simultaneously or warming up to take place. Thus, the way you hand the law of moderation would affect the results of the other laws governing human life.

Since every attribute of man is temporal, all his attributes are loyal subjects of moderation. A figure that outweighs the influence of moderation is eternal in nature. For example, God is eternal and have no attribute of limitation or moderation. You can’t say, “I have worshipped my God enough.” God is eternal and deserves eternal worship; man is temporal and deserves limited benefits.

We must be wary of extreme life situations, and try to counter it with a wise opposite reaction. A Chinese proverb says, “In the midst of great joy, do not promise anyone anything. In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone’s letter.” To not answer anyone’s letter in the midst of great anger presents the power of SILENCE. According to Thomas Jefferson, “When angry count to ten before you speak; if very angry, count to a hundred.”

Certain misconceptions have beclouded the importance of silence. Some believe that silence is a sign of weakness; others claim that it is a way of shying away from the problem. However, being silent when predisposed to great anger is gold. It is golden because it prevents the unevaluated actions of a man that brings about catastrophic events and regrets. Some say mean words out of anger, but when the anger is gone, the mean words are irreversible and would have left an indelible scar in the heart of another. Even though they forgive, they do not forget. One cannot reach one's destination if one stops and throws stones at every dog that barks.

With silence, you can show that external factors cannot affect your self-esteem. With silence you create room for the evaluation and check-mating of the situation critically, to ascertain proper measures and uncover if possibly you are at fault. With silence, you have power over the negative energies arising from people and you do not get consumed by them. With silence, the room for dialogue could arise and the possible aftermaths of irrational and devastating actions are contained.

At this juncture, it would be beneficial to re-emphasize that in anger management, we must make adequate room for moderation and silence. When something irritates you, and you discover that your reactions in the form of anger expression are exceeding moderation, it is time to be silent. According to Psalm 4:4-5, “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your bed, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices and put your trust in the Lord.”

In conclusion, to be angry is not evil, but to sin as a result of anger is evil. If the law of moderation and the power of silence is adopted, the negative consequences of anger will be stopped. Finally, according to Buddha, “holding to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else, while you are the one who gets burned.” It can be likened to drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Be wise! And do not be punished by your own anger. Unchecked and unrestrained anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.

The limitations of this article:
- This article has failed to address the cause of anger arising from mental illness.
- For mentally ill patients, the need for psychiatric rehabilitation may be of great help.
- Also, such patients should always be included in prayers because man treats but God heals.



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