Anger is emerging as a big problem in our society. In some places around us, it often happens that some people do not control impulsive feelings and hurt innocent people. I watched these scenes and thought that I should write about them once.
I do not remember when it was before or after the marriage, but anyway, my wife said to me sometime, “How can you never be angry?” My wife told me that I would not be angry, even if it would be angry for someone else.
Even if I think of myself, I do not get angry. But I have a dissatisfied mind when things go differently from my hopes. But even in such a situation I do not explode with anger.
Here is my own reason. As a preliminary conclusion, I believe that the cause of anger is in me, not in others. You may say that it is no different than guilty conscience. But once you have finished reading the story, you can see that the way I deal with anger is not guilty conscience.
Now, let’s think about when you feel anger. The situation in which people feel angry is as diverse as the number of people on the ground, but it is the same that they feel anger because the other side has done something wrong. That is to say, the other’s words and actions cause you anger. But if you know, the real cause of anger is not other’s actions, but your reaction to it.
Let me give you one example. Today is the day when you have to make a very important presentation in your company. The success of the effort that has been spent for several months is determined by this presentation. So, you had to prepare for the presentation until midnight, and you could go to bed late.
Because of the stress and fatigue accumulated, you finally woke up 30 minutes later than usual on the morning of the presentation. You are in a hurry and ready to go to work.
As you ride the bus, you hand over the presentation materials and keep checking that you have not missed it. The bus arrived across the company building. You put the presentation material on your side and got off as soon as the bus door opened. You stopped in front of the crosswalk to cross the road. After a while the traffic lights turned blue, and you started crossing the road with people.
Around the middle of the crosswalk, a blue van came from a distance and stopped slightly over the stop line next to you. The driver probably did not see the signal for a while. You are paused for a moment, but again you are on your way towards the crosswalk.
Suddenly, the van driver flashes the headlights toward you and makes a loud horn. Not only that but also pointing toward you while saying what you do not know. The pedestrian traffic light is still blue and it is not even blinking.
You are already nervous about the presentation today. In addition to that, you suddenly feel anger in the driver’s dysphonic behavior. If you just pass without responding, you will look like a pathetic person. You glared at the driver.
When you show a threatening look, the van driver looks rather sad. Still, he was pointing at something with his hand. However, the direction he pointed to was not exactly pointing at you. He was pointing to the back of the crosswalk you just passed.
Then you found out what the act of the van driver was. The bundle of documents that you read a while ago was hanging from behind. Yes. He was afraid that you would have dropped important documents. The quickest way to inform you of this in the driver’s seat was the headlight and horn. As soon as you were aware of the situation, your sharp feelings toward the van driver turned to gratitude in an instant.
Now, let us revisit this situation. We can see one important fact. While your feelings for the driver have changed from just before the anger to 180 degrees thanks to gratitude, none of the behavior of the driver, who almost became anger inducer, has changed. The only changes are your interpretation of the same situation and your reaction to the interpretation.
The cause of anger is not the act of the other. Your reaction to the act. After you see the same thing, you may be angry and find clues of mutual understanding. After all, whether you are angry or not depends on your own will and determination. It is because it is in you, not in others, to anger you.
If more people can sympathize with this little discovery of mine, perhaps our daily life will be a little more peaceful. The injuries to both the body and the heart will be reduced. I write this article with such a small hope.