Back into the mists of time, year after year, in our unending struggle to protect ourselves against sinister and deadly invaders, we expend our energies, our wealth and our physical strength to survive and maintain our health. One mysterious and potent ally is the Anger Response. The Anger Response system is not unique to our bodies. Parallel forms of this “homeland defense” can be identified at all societal levels: of the family, the community, of nations.
However, like any effective and powerful resource, over-reliance is a potential pitfall. Over dependency on the use of anger as a problem-solving-mechanism leads to an angry persona. “As a people thinketh” certainly applies. So the loose bundle of platitudes and commonplace aphorisms pertaining to sending healing, loving messages, really needs to become SOP, “Standard operating procedure.”
What a daunting privilege! Swing high enough on that swing and you are led, inevitably, inexorably, to thoughts of Our Creator, to the God of our Understanding . . . in whose image we are said to be fashioned. We have the free choice to send messages of hate and fear or messages of healing and love. And so we communicate with the rest of the planet. Words come back to me, my mother frustrated and distressed, me about 25, her launching, “Your whole modus operandi is rotten to the core.” Not even certain she could define modus operandi. It was a phrase she picked up from my father.
As advice for Rageaholics, I remember various of my elders advising me to “stop and think” before I blasted off. Well, here are five questions to teach small boys to ask themselves, to determine, or “profile” who they are at any given moment. Five questions to answer when they can catch themselves in the act of feeling angry:
1) Is it true?
2) Is it helpful?
3) Does it inspire?
4) Is it necessary?
5) Is it kind?
A tremendous communication tool, serves as a referee for our impulses, and allows an opportunity for us to work through a kind of a checklist re. who we want to be—what compliment of qualities would we want present in this moment, qualities that will allow us to operate (and “cooperate” to match our destiny) in most positive and uplifting way. I have a growing taste for acronyms. Well there’s a good one: The acronym (what a pleasant surprise) is THINK.