Anger management

It was a simple and yet, powerful philosophy to tackle anger.

We admire many people for many virtues. Likewise, we are deeply moved by the noble qualities we see in those dear and near to us.  Their lives turn out to be walking philosophies and living examples of what makes a wise person.

This bit of revelation dawned on me on a particularly bright morning as I ventured into the kitchen to toss up some signature dishes for the guests I was expecting over dinner that night. I began to labour through the chores with an eye on the clock awaiting the arrival of my house maid.  Considering that she is both my right hand and my left hand on such days, I was restless in her absence.  When she landed several hours late, I lost my cool and yelled at the top of my voice. I only stopped after I had let off the steam.  It was then that my behaviour struck me as obnoxious.  In an attempt to make up I enquired, this time rather courteously, the reason for her late-arrival.

“Amma, as usual my alcoholic son stirred trouble and picked up a fight with me.  I had to handle it calmly, which caused my delay,” she replied. Having just been through a bit of rage myself I asked her how she managed to handle it calmly. “Simple amma, I knew I could not afford to lose my temper. If I did, there would be two mad persons instead of one! So I just started to count one to fifty and then backwards from fifty to one.  By the time the mush of my brain could perform this complicated math my anger disappeared!” she said with a smirk.

It was a simple and yet, powerful philosophy to tackle anger. On a higher level, I reckon there are other effective ways to beat anger. A friend of mine, a CEO of a multi-national company, for instance always has a simple solution to keep his anger under wraps with his staff. 

He once said to me, “Any time I lose my cool with any staff for an irresponsible act that cost the company a lot in terms of money and other resources, I simply undertake this exercise. On a sheet of paper I write down all points in favour of the person in question. This invariably extends into a long list of his virtues.  For, most people, I must admit are far nicer than they are given credit. I then do a brief description of how he contributed to the company’s growth, both directly and indirectly.  By the time I complete this ritual I get a better perspective and my temper just vanishes!”

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