Anger Management



Ways to Tame Our Most Destructive Emotion

imageNRAGED BY A FAST-BREAKING CAR in front of him, a man loses control and crashes at an intersection; tempers flare and a fist fight breaks out. In a store nearby, a man stomps off in a huff, cursing the clerk for declining his credit card. In an apartment up the street, a mother screams at her daughter to clean up her room. Down the block, a schoolgirl pouts because her father won’t let her date an older boy. Around the corner a man slaps his six-year-old son because he won’t sit still in the car. Anger, the most powerful and hurtful emotion we possess, is everywhere. Yet, the average person succumbs to it helplessly, willingly, lapsing into insane episodes now and again without thinking much about it. Many would defend it as their ally, a tool they could not live without. Anger is expressed by humanity in drastically different manners. Low-minded individuals take delight in being angry toward others and expressing that anger in aggressive and violent ways—gang wars, school bullying, vandalism and more. They deliberately use anger and violence to get what they want. Then there is the mass of generally law-abiding people who live a normal, working life but are seriously angry on the inside about one thing or another and express that anger regularly in their words and actions. They are simply angry at the world and have neither the means nor the motivation to eliminate anger from their lives. They are, as a popular book observes, angry all the time. Finally, there are those who are striving to live a life according to spiritual principles but are at times unable to control their anger and as a result end up hurting others and breeching Hinduism’s core virtue, nonviolence (ahimsa), while creating new negative karmas to live through in the future. It is to such individuals, who are striving to control anger, even eliminate it from their pattern of behavior, that this Insight is addressed. §