Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Problem of Anger

I read a lot of Buddhist teachings. And I must admit I'm confused about the Buddhist position on anger. I think anger gets a bad rap. Along with a few other things.

Don't get me wrong. A lot of bad comes from anger. Anger is often unconscious, a reaction based on our triggers. Anger can result in sarcasm, condescension, cruelty, abuse, even murder. But anger can also motivate change. It can provide focus. Anger can help us protect ourselves. Anger can give us far more energy and strength than we would otherwise have.

So when I see a piece talking about "three steps to eliminate anger," I worry some.

There are clearly emotions we view as negative. Fear, anger, guilt, greed, lust, and probably some others. But this doesn't mean they should be eliminated. Each of them is part of the human experience. Trying to eliminate them could easily turn into denial or repression.

Instead, let's embrace them as teachers, and pay close attention to what they say to us. Even if we don't always like the message.


If you like these posts, please share through email, Facebook, or Twitter using the buttons below.

No comments:

Post a Comment