Thursday, May 14, 2009
Post No. 117: That Positive Side to Anger Which So Many of You See...
Back in late April, we generated a post entitled, “Is There a Positive Side to Anger?”
Many of you responded that there is a positive side, and perhaps more interestingly, many simply responded that anger is a positive and necessary force, without explicitly addressing whether it should be used judiciously, or whether there are negative ramifications.
One of our readers sent the following story to us a few days ago, and it caused us to re-visit our thoughts on anger. We generally try to avoid posting articles which simply confirm positions which we have previously taken. We do not think that advances anything in the realm of public discourse.
However, this little piece made us re-examine our views on anger, and still arrive at the same conclusion.
“There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His Father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
“The first day the boy had driven 27 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.
“Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all.
“He told his father about it and the Father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
“The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father took his Son by the hand and led him to the fence.
“He said, 'You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.
“You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. But it won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry; the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
“Remember that anyone with whom you come into contact is a human and all humans have value.
“Anger has a deleterious effect on us all. Including our kids who observe their parents and others."
This made us think further about anger. This little piece might apply to our children, or perhaps our most intimate friends and family. However, does it also apply to our co-workers, people with whom we come into contact throughout the day, and strangers in general?
What about people more distantly removed, government workers, our politicians and leaders?
What about our institutions, or certain professions, or industries, which are not animate beings, but are composed of them?
Let’s assume that you agree that the use of anger against individuals (of course, those who you claim don’t deserve it) is inappropriate. What is the theoretical or principled position that justifies the use of anger against your broken down car, a business, a profession, a government or a governmental official?
Don’t we have the intelligence as human beings to articulate the substance of our frustration, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc. in words, even well chosen forceful words, without accompanying them with invective and making the points personal?
What say yee you morons, imbeciles, idiots, and vermin?
Opportunity to Serve as "Guest Author"
This forum was designed to be YOUR forum for the civil exchange of ideas by people with all points of views. We welcome the submission of articles by all of our readers, as long as they are in compliance with our Guidelines contained in Post No. 34. We look forward to receiving your submissions.