Never get angry…

Here’s a recent thought: We should never get angry at those under our care.

Teaching, coaching is the only proper response to mistakes and wrong behavior.

Easy example: one of my daughters cannot find things. Or, more accurately, she doesn’t try to find things. With few exceptions, every time she looks for something, or is asked to look for something, she immediately  begins crying, claiming that she cannot find the item. She doesn’t even try. As you may guess, this is rather aggravating. However, as you can also see, scolding her would do nothing to help either the immediate search or her ability to search.

She needs teaching or coaching on how to search.

Another example: that same daughter is human. Meaning, she is wonderful and has flaws. Another flaw is her temper. She can get angry.

It is obvious that responding to anger with anger would not produce peace. What my daughter needs is not lectures, spankings, shouting-down, but coaching on how to choose a different response and what to do with emotions.

These ideas are, of course, in that practical, greatest philosophical work, the Bible, which says: “A soft answer turns away wrath.” That is not a magical incantation, or a spiritual mystery. It is a practical, logical principle. And it is difficult to do. It is the most difficult thing a person will do.

Of course, what this means is that we should never get angry. But even suggesting that will make some people angry–precisely because those people have little mastery over their emotions… at this point.

Some people might argue that even Jesus got angry. You and I have heard people use that argument. The problem with that defense of immaturity is that the most it supports is that you and I can get angry once in our lifetime.

How does a person respond with teaching and not emotion? How does a person choose their responses?

<choice-response thinking here>
<levels of conflict here>
<mastery/denial of self here>

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One comment

  1. Ohhh, that is a beautiful post to read and consider… and change our ways of thinking and doing. Yes, “a soft answer turns away wrath” and leaves us and those around us, with a joyful heart!

    Thank you for stopping, reflecting and choosing your response with your little girl; it shows such maturity, insight, and wisdom. And helps us all.

    It is said that “hindsight is 100%;” and as we reflect back on our own lives, it proves to be true. I wish I had never responded in anger, I wish I had never spanked my children, I wish….

    How shall we then live? What can we do? What will/can make the difference for us, our families and communities?

    Going back to school was life changing for me. Learning about emotional intelligence, empathy, handling anger, resolving conflicts, etc., has made all the difference in the world.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if…? Children (and teenagers and adults) were taught the essentials of handling anger and resolving conflicts positively; and just how to coach and mentor? Quoting from Daniel Goleman’s book, “Emotional Intelligence:” One reason they (we) are so poor at this basic life skill, of course, is that as a society we have not bothered to make sure every child is taught the essentials of handling anger or resolving conflicts positively–nor have we bothered to teach empathy, impulse control, or any of the other fundamentals of emotional competence.”

    Put all together, it can be summed up in the words of the Bible: “A soft answer turneth away wrath.”

    Thank you for a life-changing post.

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