Posts Tagged ‘Physician’

Anger is a basic emotion.  That is, anger is hard-wired and thus evident in our physiology when we are experiencing them and they are evident within the human community as well as other creatures and their communities.   But anger is more than just a basic emotion.  It is also not an emotion that simply happens to us.  According to Robert C. Solomon, anger is a particular emotion.  And each emotion is a method of interacting with the world.  Drawing on Jean-Paul Sartre, Solomon notes that emotions are a strategy for our engagement with the world.  Anger and Fear are both part of the strategy by which you and I respond to the world.


Much of Western civilization has been built on the philosophy of the ancient Greeks who believed that freedom from emotion was the way to a better life.  They call this apatheia or apathy.  The residual effect of  Greek philosophy is that we imagine emotions as something that happen to us. When anger happens to us, can we help but express road rage, gossip, physical or verbal assault?  We might be able to  experience anger differently if we understand it differently.

There are those who believe that anger helps us  get what we want.   In other words we change ourselves through anger.  We may experience humiliation that someone will not help us with a difficult project.  It is anger that elevates us to a position of judgment against the one who will not help us and anger helps us to save face.

Anger is not always appropriate, but it is a feeling that brings a message:  “Hey, you have been humiliated or frustrated.  What are you going to do about it?”  If we understand that anger helps us to save face then we are more likely to use it responsibly (with the right person, over the right issue at the right time) or correct it with compassion and forgiveness, learning from the initial experiences of shame and humiliation.   Anger is not easily dismissed because our interactions with the world can be hurtful and we are in need of healing.  Anger is a strategy, but each of us have to decide if it is the best strategy!


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