Anger — an example
our minds are dominated by anger, we will lose
the best part of human intelligence — wisdom,
the ability to decide between right and wrong.
Anger is one of the most serious problems facing
the world today.
We probably can all agree that anger causes suffering.
The destructive effects of hatred
are very visible, very obvious and immediate. For example, when
a strong or forceful thought of hatred arises, at that very instant
it overwhelms one totally and destroys one's peace and presence
of mind. When that hateful thought is harbored inside, it makes
one feel tense and uptight, and can cause loss of appetite, leading
to loss of sleep, and so forth.
no longer enjoy even our breakfast.
Anger causes us to cease
being compassionate, loving, generous, forgiving, tolerant, and
patient altogether. When angry we lose all inner peace.
And when it becomes habitual, we may
be ever so learned, rich, or powerful, but others will simply
avoid us. . . . Just as when a dog is always growling and showing
its teeth, we are cautious of those whose hearts are disturbed
But isn't some anger justified?
What about anger toward injustice or towards someone
who is harmful? What about anger that is motivated
by compassion or a sense of responsibility? What
about the anger that causes us to go to the
assistance of someone who is being attacked in
the street; could this be characterized as
An emotion like anger, if motivated
by compassion, can be used as an impetus or a catalyst for a
positive action. It can create a kind of energy that enables
an individual to act quickly and decisively. It can be a powerful
Nevertheless, the Dalai Lama warns that generally
speaking, anger ends in ill feeling or, worse, hatred. Hatred,
we can agree, is not only never
positive but is inevitably harmful. The Dalai Lama implores
us to distinguish between actions which might have positive results
and the emotion of anger which so easily becomes personal and
transforms into enmity and hostility. Outrage at injustice
is understandable and can be the impetus for positive action,
but action fed by anger is unreliable.
Blinded by anger
While it is true that anger brings extra energy,
if we explore the nature of this energy, we discover that it
is blind: we cannot be sure whether its result will be positive
or negative. This is because anger eclipses the best part of
our brain: its rationality. So the energy of anger is almost
always unreliable. It can cause an immense amount of destructive,
Can you recall anger blinding you? Can you recall
acting in anger and then regretting your actions?
Can you recall an argument unraveling to the
point where one of the participants (you?) became
More often than not, such anger is actually
an indication of weakness rather than of strength.
Can you appreciate the Dalai Lama's contention
that such afflictive emotions indicate fragility
We say someone is "blinded by anger."
At this moment we recognize the irrational component of the behavior.
we become angry or feel hatred, we tend to relate to others as
if their characteristics were immutable. A person can appear
to be objectionable from the crown of their head to the soles
of their feet. We forget that they, like us, are merely suffering
human beings with the same wish to be happy and to avoid suffering.
Do you have any question about the Dalai Lama's
assertion that anger is an entirely useless
emotion? Does anyone
ever says anger can bring happiness?
Has your doctor ever prescribed anger as treatment
for any disease? When you become angry, do
you feel happy? Does your mind become calmer or
agitated, does your our body relax or tense?