Quote of the day: ANGER

April 8, 2011

ANGER

Q: Aren’t you angry on behalf of the millions of people around the world who have been killed in our name? Aren’t you angry about the villages that have been napalmed, the jungles defoliated, the cities incinerated, the innocents massacred?

I am indeed outraged by these things, but I think outrage is different from anger. What do Buddha, Jesus, Sun Tzu, Seneca, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Albert Schweitzer, martial-arts philosophy, and West Point have in common? They all taught me that anger is dangerous. Outrage is my conscience saying, This is wrong! When outrage is not supported by a foundation of patience and empathy for all sides, it quickly descends into yelling, resentment, and a shutting down of reason, which doesn’t effectively advance the cause of peace. We can spark people’s outrage without inciting their anger. So, yes, let’s all be outraged by these things but let’s channel our outrage into productive action.

The way you get rid of anger is through understanding. As Gene Knudsen Hoffman, founder of Compassionate Listening, said, “An enemy is someone whose story you haven’t heard.” The reason I’m not angry at conservatives is because I’ve lived my whole life around them and don’t see them as bad people. They are not the enemy. My opponents are ignorance, greed, and hatred, which seem to have taken these people hostage.

— Paul Chappell, author of Will War Ever End? A Soldier’s Vision of Peace for the 21st Century, interviewed in The Sun

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