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Anger is one short letter away from D-Anger

June 27, 2012

The other day I was at home and had the luxury of watching a movie starring an animal… an elephant called Bo Tat to be precise. Name of the movie is Operation Dumbo Drop; quite a hilarious movie….. or maybe I appreciated it a lot because of  Bo Tat… She was actually quite funny, and she happened to be the only female in the entire cast.... :-) Just to give you a summary, the movie is about a group of  Army guys who attempt to transport an elephant (Bo Tat) through jungle terrain to a local South Vietnamese village. The movie was based on a true story and if  you haven’t laughed in a while, I recommend this movie, even though its over a decade old. I guarantee you great guffaws, especially if you are able to grasp the humor therein.

During Operation Dumbo Drop the team members had to pass through very trying times considering they were passing through enemy territory with “cargo” that couldn’t be carried in their bags. Besides, there was no way to hide the elephant and considering there is obviously a lot she couldn’t understand about the humans, it meant that at the most odd times she would cry out, thus giving out their hideout to possible attackers. The most trying moment for the team was when they tried airlifting Bo Tat…. what they ignored was the fact that she may not be a fan of flying… and this almost cost them their lives.
 
As a result of all these challenges, it was not a wonder then that at times tempers flared and guys started blame-games within the team, something that almost saw the team disintegrate and the mission aborted. At the end of it all, they resulted to a fist-fight which almost landed one of the guys in a lake….. that narrow escape of death brought their senses back and they stopped shouting and fighting each other and agreed to work together to accomplish the mission.
 
While I was watching that movie, I couldn’t help but wonder why a group of people who had agreed to take on a mission together would suddenly turn wild against each other, almost causing loss of life. At one point the shouting was so much you could clearly see the veins on their faces…. almost popping! Well, I really didn’t have an answer to my own question and so I just enjoyed the movie…
 
Two days after watching this movie, someone sent me a forwarded message which somehow helped answer the question about why people become wild when they are angry… I have chosen to share the message with you in form of a “skit” as narrated here below:
 
One day a man was walking along a river together with his followers. Somewhere along the way, they found a group of family members shouting in anger at one other.
 
The man turned to his followers and asked them, ‘Why do people shout in anger?’  They thought for a while and one of them said,‘Well, as human beings, when we lose our calm, its only natural to shout.’
 
‘But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You might as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner, right?’, asked the saint. They thought about this for a few more moments and gave some other answers. However, none of them satisfied this man. Finally, realizing they had come to the end of their thinking capacity he decided to explain by using the following illustration…
 
“If I was standing 80 meters away from you,  and I spoke to you in my normal tone, would either of you hear what I am saying?” In unison, the group shook their heads. “What if I was standing right next to you and I whispered, would you hear me?” Again in unison, they nodded their heads, most of them wondering where these questions were leading to.
 
“You see, when two people are angry at each other, their is great distance between their hearts. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the harder they will have to shout in order to hear each other over the great distance between them…”  
 
After a few minutes of letting what he had already said sink in, the man continued:
 
“That is why when two people are in love they talk softly and gently because their hearts are so close. The distance between them is either non-existent or very small… Now, when these two people continue growing deeper in their love for each other, what happens? They do not speak; they only whisper to each other, which draws them closer to each both physically and emotionally. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that’s all their eyes say it all. That is why it is so easy to tell how close two people are just by looking at how they communicate with each other”.
 
At this point he looked at his followers and said, “when you argue, do not let your hearts get distant. Do not say words that will create distance between you, or else there will come a day when the distance will be so great that you will not find the path to return…”
 
I can imagine the silence that ensued after the man finished talking; it must have been deafening.
 
I don’t know about you, but I can relate to this story.  I actually found myself thinking back at moments when I have lost my cool and reacted in anger. In most instances, I have always regretted the words that came out of my mouth. Besides the regret, anger has always left me with a headache the size of Bo Tat.
 
None of us is perfect and as human beings, we are all work in progress. Now that I have a clear illustration of what happens when people are angry, I am trying as much as possible to avoid that territory and hopefully with time, I will still be able to talk in normal tones to anyone who tries to rub me the wrong way.
 
I can’t remember who it was that said this, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret”.  And he was right.

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