Why anger should be used sparingly … (Anger management series 7)

A great power like nuclear power can be used for deterrence and defence, but it can also be used to cause catastrophic destruction. That’s why whenever any such power is to be used, two things need to be considered: not just the good that good people can do with it, but also the harm that bad people can do with it. 

We too need to consider both these aspects whenever we use the formidable power of anger to get things done. For example, parents may sometimes use anger to jolt their irresponsible children out of apathy or complacency. Though such use of anger may do some good, what harm might it lead to? Over time, those parents may start using anger more frequently, not out of necessity, but out of expediency, just to avoid the effort of educating and inspiring their children to do the right thing. Worse still, their children may infer that anger is the standard way to get things done, thereby never developing their capacity to persuade and negotiate. 

Worst of all, if virtuous people while in power normalize the use of anger, what will happen when less-virtuous people or downright vicious people gain power? They will routinely use anger to terrorize and tyrannize people for furthering their nefarious agendas. Such abuse can make life hellish for all their subordinates. 

Given that the misuse of anger has such a high probability and such grave consequences, it’s best to reserve the use of anger to emergency situations only. No wonder the Bhagavad-gita urges us to stay away from anger (16.21). 

One-sentence summary:

If we normalize the use of anger for getting things done, we pave the way for the misuse of anger, by us and others too — use anger sparingly. 

Think it over:

  • Before using anger ,what do we need to consider? Why?
  • If we use anger to get things done, what negative consequences may ensue?
  • Consider the last time when you felt you were justified in getting angry. What were the long-term results? 

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16.21: There are three gates leading to this hell – lust, anger and greed. Every sane man should give these up, for they lead to the degradation of the soul.

 

To know more about this verse, please click on the image

Author: Chaitanya Charan

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