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A Temperate Response

By Steve Goodier

   Steve always shares wonderful thoughts with us.

   His words today of great importance.

By Steve Goodier © 2002

A young girl came into the house with a tear in her pants. Her mother
was exasperated, as this had happened too many times before. At her
wits end, she said to her daughter, "Now you go into your room, take
off those pants, and sew up that tear!" The poor child had never held
a needle in her life!

A little while later her mother saw the pants crumpled on the floor of
her daughter's bedroom -- still torn. She looked around
little girl. Spying the basement light on, she called down the stairs,
"Are you down there running around with your pants off?"

A big voice boomed up, "No ma'am. I'm reading the gas meter."

Thomas Jefferson once advised, "When angry, count to ten before you
speak; if very angry, count to 100." It could help any number of
embarrassing situations.

Another way to say it is like this: When angry, slow down. Slow down
and think. Slow down and calm down. A later response will be a more
tempered response and usually a better one. Slow down and get some
distance from the provoking incident. You'll see it more for what it
is, and you'll often see that it never deserved your ire. Slow down
and consider your best response.

On the other hand, don't forever hold it in. For anger does more
damage to the vessel in which it is stored than the object on which it
is poured. Uncontrolled rage will mostly hurt you. Slow down before
you let it out. But after you let it out it, be sure to let it go.

And when you express your anger, keep your temper -- no one else wants
it. Untold relationships, otherwise beautiful and full of promise, are
ruined by rage. Countless careers and lives are brought down by harsh
and thoughtless words.

Mahatma Gandhi had this motto on his wall at Sevagram:
    "When you are in the right,
        You can afford to keep your temper;
    When you are in the wrong,
        You can't afford to lose it."

Slow down -- and temper your anger with understanding.

Slow down -- and temper your ire with compassion.

Slow down -- and temper...your temper.


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