Overcome anger to improve your community
By Jean Ricot Dormeus
My friend SJO answered my call with sadness and anxiety in her voice. She lives in the green zone, but the roof of her house received much ash all the same. La Soufriere volcano wreaked havoc in her native St-Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean. The eruption sent lava, smoke and ash, displacing one in five persons and running roughshod on the economy. The last time the volcano let loose its anger was a generation ago. Damage, pain and urgent needs would not stay away from SJO’s words.
The catastrophe resulting from the volcano gives a vivid snapshot of the agony uncontrolled human anger may cause. So many families, friendships and business undertakings have descended into chaos under the influence of anger. Such deficiency in character needs overcoming for our communities to flourish. Whereas La Soufriere has no control over the factors leading to its eruptions, we can develop coping skills to preserve peace around us.
The scourge of compulsive anger affects many people in every walk of life. The Mental Health Organization found that about a third of a large group say they have a close friend or family member who has trouble controlling their anger. Maya Angelou warned us “… anger is like fire. It burns it all clean”.
No one striving for the good of their community should give in to the fire of anger. Therefore we must be deliberate in keeping our composure, even when we would be justified to get vexed. As we change and show respect and empathy through coolness, we make a solid contribution to changing the world around us.
Further, we will avoid the trap that King Solomon exposed so well, “He who is quick to become angry will commit folly” (Prov 14:17).
Jean Ricot Dormeus
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