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The Unavoidable and the Optional

Tuesday, 6 February, 2018 - 8:02 pm

For an under 2 minute audio click here 

Some teach that a virtuous life is where one never is angry. Others suggest one should express their anger freely, for pent up anger can have serious negative emotional effects on a person. 

Both these approaches are extreme and a healthy medium is what we should persue. There is a difference between feeling and reacting. Feeling is unavoidable. Reacting is optional and reacting is a choice. With a clearheaded judgment one can decide the most sensible way to react with the best possible results. Without this judgment, anger turns into rage, which has no benefits and it only causes destruction.

Taking control of our reactions consist of training ourselves to exercise restraint when we are provoked, even if we feel that we are in the right. 

Practice restraint by:

Giving it some time

Pausing for time and not acting immediately on one’s anger firstly allows the anger to die away. When anger first explodes, it appears to be a raging fire that cannot be stopped. But doesn’t the biggest conflagration eventually burn out?

Secondly, pausing gives us time to regain control and operate with a rational and clear mind.

Responding in a soft voice

Rage feeds upon itself. Our own tone of voice can dictate the things we may say or do in that particular moment. A soft voice in response to rage is like depriving a fire of its oxygen.

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