Why do we get angry? The usual reasons are hurt, annoyance, disappointment, harassment, threat and frustration. Then there’s righteous anger that fuels our fight for a just cause, like protesting against cynical government policies, sticking up for a beaten child, or against social cruelty to a disadvantaged person or animal. It’s helpful, says a study on anger by the University of South Florida, to realise that anger can be our friend or foe, depending on how we express it.
Failure to recognise and understand our anger may lead to a variety of problems like high blood pressure, skin rash and insomnia, they warn.
As always, scripture has a peck of wise remedies on hand for dealing with this most destructive emotion The Bible has a great solution: “The soft answer that turneth away wrath.” (Proverbs). The point is we don’t have to yell back or bristle if someone’s spoken or behaved crossly.
Then, there’s Lord Krishna’s option of giving a person that many chances to misbehave before cutting his head off, like with Sishupala, the rude king of Chedi. Since the Avatar had promised Shishupala’s mother that he would give him a hundred chances, he didn’t bother to react. Until one day, hundred chances used up, Krishna wasted no words but cut his head off ! Since we’re not superhuman, perhaps we could settle for ten good chances, after which we jerk the rope on the offender? Six deep breaths first, though, should help!