Week 46: A story about anger.
It’s something we all feel. A very human emotion, in fact any animal feels that burning rage. The one that bubbles in the pit of your stomach, makes you see red. It takes over and in that blur, you lose control over your actions and your words.
But there is a limit.
Feel anger yes. Let it out yes. Safely. Go for walks, a run, go to the gym, tell someone about your feelings, write them all down, process your anger. But never, ever take it out on someone else. Don’t ever raise your fist to someone else. If you’re defending yourself against an attack, that is a different fight or flight response. But if you are the one initiating the physical contact, stop and think.
He never learnt that.
He was never able to keep his anger in check. The first time he hit her, he gave her a black eye, put her in hospital. The second time he beat her back so much she could barely move. When her daughter grew up, he tried to hit her too. But her daughter was hard headed and defensive.
“Go on then, hit me. That’s what you want, right?”
He didn’t hit her.
The next time, he threw a glass across the room, shattering it. He threw remote controls. He swore and cursed the house down, because he knew if he so much as laid a finger on his wife or daughter, they would retaliate. He learnt what it was like to be weak then. To know that he wasn’t in power. To know that whatever he did, he wouldn’t have the upper hand.
Not getting your way is something we’ve all been through. But that is where compromise comes in. Or, if your opinions are hurting another, it’s time to rethink whatever it is you’re debating about. If no one fought for freedom and let bigots rule, we wouldn’t have moved on past the British Empire, past slavery, past World War Two.
Anger breeds war, death and suffering.
But the storm is never alone. There is a calm there too. And often, the calm can also follow the storm, instead of the other way around.
Think about your actions the next time you go to carry them out.
Are they worth losing a part of your humanity over?