The Revolution of Anger Management

By Yoram Yahav

As human beings, it is rather easy to get upset, lose our tempers, blame others in vain, judge, complain, feel victimized, etc. Don’t we all at times fall into a pattern of distress? The well-known movie character Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) seems tough and untouchable in film, but in real life Stallone too has his own baggage to deal with, including unhappy and challenging moments. God only knows that I myself work hard on changing my anger into peacefulness. It isn’t always easy when at times I get frustrated by other people’s attitudes. But, once I am aware of the situation, the process of change becomes easier daily.

At times I look at politicians and their revolving attitudes and opinions and wonder why they don’t see how things could be different. Is it really rewarding to get angry? I see economists in the States who claim that the US will overcome the crisis sooner than later. Why don’t they see things as they truly are? I see the world watching and praising the “revolutions” in the Arab world and I am amazed that they don’t see that within the current realities, the alternatives are just as bad as the existing one. Don’t they see it?

My parents, the generation of the Holocaust who lost most of their loved ones because they did not grasp something like that could happen, they can tell us some powerful stories about anger. These wonderful people now claim that the Holocaust could never happen again. Is that so? Between Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iran and the way I see it, maybe soon Jordan, hundreds of thousands of people can die, be humiliated and violated, before the “civilized” world could blink. Is it possible to avoid getting angry or judgmental about a world which only talks its talk?

StonesBuddha spoke about anger as a form of fear. Nothing he said, should bring us to any level of anger (my apologies for abbreviating Buddha’s words into my own simplistic language). But can we humans truly contain our anger when we see stupidity and lack of emotional intelligence in so many acts of insanity around us?! How can one build a positive strategy or design one’s future if the realities of the present are clouding the potential for a better tomorrow?

If only we could listen better to one another (by listening I mean truly hearing out the other side before reacting). If we could only prioritize the important things in life and value them before we dump them down the drain. It takes a small injury, a disease, or losing one’s home in a Tsunami, for one to realize how redundant and unnecessary those small bursts of anger are. I get utterly furious when I hear of Libyan soldiers raping women “because that’s what Gaddafi ordered.” But will my anger benefit anyone? I admit, there is great confusion in my heart regarding the realities of anger, but I promise you that much work is still ahead.