A Hindu saint who was visiting the river Ganges to bathe found a group of family members on the banks, shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples smiled and asked:
‘Why do people shout in anger at each other?’
Disciples thought for a while, one of them said, ‘Because we lose our calm, we shout.’
‘But why should you shout when the other person is right next to you?,” asked the saint. ‘You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner.’
Disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.
Finally the saint explained, ‘When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.
What happens when two people fall in love? They don’t shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small…’
The saint continued, ‘When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper, then they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.’
He looked at his disciples and said, ‘So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’
The story testifies to one key aspect about anger – it’s an alienating emotion which we can’t afford. Think about it… when we are angry we feel misunderstood and have a deep wish to be heard, but ironically, our tone of voice achieves the exact opposite. It’s a shame as we might be communicating a valid point but because we spit fire, our words close, instead of open, the situation to a solution.
It’s also quite evident that by shouting the person we hurt the most is [click to continue…]