Anger is a universal problem. I have observed it in the primitive cannibals in Irian Jaya, uncivilized Indians in the remote jungles of Brazil, illiterate people in tiny villages deep in the forest of Zaire, my playmates when I was a child, in my parents, church members, pastors, highly educated people, the very rich, people in government, and yes, even in myself. Call it what you will: mad, angry, frustrated, annoyed, perturbed, ticked off–all of these words represent a form of anger.
You cannot decide to be angry. You can take elaborate precautions to avoid being angry. But, alas, sooner or later, anger underneath your skin is triggered by a memory, someone’s behavior, a conversation, a phone call, or a letter. It can cause your heart to beat faster, make you sweat, tense up your muscles, foul up your digestive system, alter the way you think, dictate how you act, and trigger negative words from your mouth.
There seems to be universal agreement that anger must be tamed. Yet there is vast disagreement over the cause and the cure. [Read more…]