This happened one Sunday night when I was in a station where there were few people. A young man was incessantly complaining to a station staff member. “Can’t I use this ticket?” “But why?” “Is this unavailable?”
On another day, a typhoon came and all trains on the line were stopped. However, even though the station was filled with people, there was not a single person who got angry, and everyone obeyed the guidance of the station staff.
I think there must have been people who were angry because things weren’t going their way, but if you just go ahead and unleash your anger onto someone, that will not make things go right. Don’t you think so?
If each person bears with things like this philosopher in the following story, everyone will be able to live a pleasant life. Let’s read one chapter of Unshakable Spirit.
A certain Swiss philosopher was famous for his even temper A woman who worked as his housekeeper for ten years swore that she never saw him so much as frown in anger.
One time a prankster offered to pay her if she could make her employer, a friend of his, lose his temper. The housekeeper thought and thought, and decided what to do. Her master liked his bed neatly made, so she deliberately left it unmade. The next morning she fully expected a reprimand, but he only commented, smiling, “Say, last night when I went upstairs, the bed wasn’t made.”
One night wasn’t enough, she thought. The next night she left the bed unmade again. In the morning he said, “You know, the bed wasn’t made last night either. You must have been busy. Make it tonight, will you?” But she didn’t.
On the third morning the philosopher summoned her to his study and said, “I see you didn’t make the bed again. You must have your reasons for not doing it. Anyway, I’ve gotten used to making it myself, so from now on I’ll take care of it.”
The housekeeper had expected a thorough dressing-down. At this show of generosity, she broke down, fell at her employer’s knees, and sobbed out the whole story, begging his forgiveness. The philosopher never left off smiling. He bore this undeserved ill treatment with admirable patience.
Unchecked anger is a raging flame that devours all goodness. The following story illustrates the danger.
Once, due to a servant’s carelessness, a rich man’s dinner was eaten by a lamb. The servant received an angry rebuke, and for spite he threw hot coals onto the offending animal. The lamb’s fleece caught fire, and the animal ran in panic into the barn.
The fire spread to thousands of head of sheep, and in the end the rich man’s barn and home burned to the ground.
One person’s anger spreads out in waves without end. Know that anger is the enemy, and patience is the foundation of long-lasting peace.
He who expresses anger with his mouth is an inferior man.
He who grits his teeth and does not express his anger is a middling man. He who shows no sign of anger even when he is boiling with rage is a superior man.
(Unshakable Spirit, Anger Is the Enemy)
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #33 | 2013, Unleashing Your Anger Onto Someone Will Not Make Things Go Right.
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