ANGER (Part 2): The values and dangers of getting angry.
According to the book, Getting the best of your anger before it gets the best of you, Dr. Les Carter writes, “Anger is not wrong in itself-it is the way we use and express it that can be labeled right or wrong. You can learn to channel your anger in a positive way and make it strength, a way of standing up for yourself and promoting positive change”. This psychologist adds that anger is a normal part of our humanity, and a person who denies ever feeling angry is not being honest. It is humbling to admit that we are not always in control of ourselves the way we would like to be. And I add that you are actually not normal if you never get angry or at least you have no program or wish in your life that is interrupted at times so you can be angry.
Didn’t I tell you the moments when anger was my only motivation? It was an early morning with bright sunrise and good birds singing songs of praises to God. I and mama were on our way home from fetching water (water was scarce so we usually went for it at great dawn before others could wake up). But we were hungry; we had no food at home. So as we passed along the narrow quite road that morning, we came across our neighbor in his garden harvesting Irish potatoes. We (I mean mama since I wasn’t all that reasoning or very much concerned, I was young) had no money yet but somehow mother expected our neighbor to help us with little of the Irish potatoes. Unfortunately, no sooner had my mother pushed in her need than it was declined in the voice that still resonate in my ears. We went home without talking like we had been doing before as if mama was angry with me or I was with her, but she would smile at me with love every time I said a thing. I understood her: She had lost a way to explain to me the shame she had scored and I bothered not ask her.
That day, the anger that boiled within me was beyond and I am sure the path that we walked home felt it under my feet. Even up to now I have the flushes of the whole scene here with me. From that day, I resolved to be a man, to grow up, to defend my mother against such people (both in physical and provisions). And I am sure the anger of that day has been my motivation up to now. All the things that I am now are partly because of the shame I and my mother suffered that day and the anger that I developed. I know I haven’t provided mama with all that she needs yet but one thing I know: She sleeps peacefully when it is raining outside. And God will help us through it all.
In the book, General psychology, Girma Lemma cites three values of emotions. And from our part one of this study, we found out that anger is also an emotion and thus these uses apply here too. Emotions prepare us for action (for example, if we see an angry dog running toward us, the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system prepares us for emergency action). Emotions shape our future behavior (for example, when we encounter a threatening dog some other time, the previous experience teaches us to avoid an incoming danger). And emotions shape us to regulate social interactions (for example, verbal and non-verbal ways of communicating emotions help us to understand the behavior of another person. Then we modify our actions). Anger accurately fits in the above examples.
Actually, anger is one way of fighting for our rights and dignity. When we get angry, we are simply saying that we have been unfairly treated by situations, people or even God. Whenever someone or something stands in the way of your expectations, you have all the right to be angry. To get angry shows the rest of the people that you have your values and wishes which you don’t wish anyone to tamper with. At times, people will grant your wish and avoid annoying you by granting your wishes though this is not your best thing to rely on. Sometimes anger makes us make hard and daring choices that we wouldn’t make. These choices end up making great though at times may be sources of our doom. So the easier we master anger, the easier it will work for us since we will make smart choices with our anger under control but still existing.
The issue is that we just have to learn how to control our anger put it on and get what we want and release it when we want to. I know this is not easy. Actually, I am a victim of anger too but we really have to try and God will help us. Like we said before, this is one of the greatest gifts that we are blessed with and thus deserves our great attention so we can use it as ordained by nature. Just as anger is our best weapon to achieve our goals and aims, it can be a tool of destruction too. Dr. Les cites that just one moment of ill-advised anger can spoil hours, months or even years of living with good intentions.
The above observation of Dr. Les reminds me of so many friends that I know who lost their loved ones because anger triggered them into making one-day harsh decision and the whole life of happiness got shattered. You all know the latest story of a maid who got mad at her boss and expressed her anger by torturing a toddler she was left with to almost its death by kicking, stepping on it and throwing it hard on the ground. Where is the woman? She will have years in prison. Just one act out of her anger has defined the whole of her life. That is how dangerous anger can be. Both history and our life experiences have revealed the great troubles being brought on individuals, nations and families just because one leading person got angry or because groups of people couldn’t control their anger. We all know that anger has been a tool in marriage break-ups, individual depression and anxiety (anger in from of guilt feelings), business decline and other evils.
All the above leaves us with no choice but to learn how to deal with our anger and in the most beautiful way otherwise there is no escape. After all, it is a MUST you will get angry.