I can remember my father telling me many times as a child that sometimes getting angry for the right reason was a good thing. To him, anger should be a controlled force that could be funneled into righteousness. He would show me and my brother how to fight so that, if one day, someone to or our-selves were in trouble or if we ever saw something being done to someone against their will, that we would be able to defend that person. He would put us into self-defense classes and martial arts programs in a hope to better prepare us for a dangerous world. His one rule: Only fight for the right thing. Fighting wasn't fun, it was scary and violence and inflicting pain on another human being was always a last resort. I would like to say I followed this golden rule to a “T” but to be honest I half followed it.
I literally prayed for someone to be attacked in my life so that I could defend them. In school, if one of my buddies looked like he was going to get into a fight, I would quickly see if the golden rule applied. If not, I would try and defuse or distract my friend. If my friend was in the right, my fist would fly. When the school called my father he would listen and, if he felt that I was not in the wrong, he would never say a word. I wouldn't say I fought a lot at all,but when the moment arose I relished in it. The adrenalin, the fear, and the solid connection of fist to jaw.
I have begun to try something new in the last few years. When I feel angry with someone I breathe and try to be thankful for them. I try to hope them the best and send out as much good vibrations as I can. I have found that the fire of anger is quickly extinguished by forgiveness, love and acceptance. The mind adopts this faster then i would have thought possible. When we dwell on anger it grows in us like a cancer. It fills our bones and leaves us a hollow caste without the best parts of our human nature. Anger breeds anxiety, depression, fear and, at times, even hate. Patience, wisdom, understanding and selflessness breed love. We do not get angrier to become more relaxed. A calm mind and a smile bring peace. This is easier said than done but since I have begun this way of living I have found it easier and easier. Even when people are horrible, when they throw us down into the dust, we must answer back with peace. It is the only way they will change and it is the only way we will change ourselves.