15 March 2018

Ethiopia: Keep Walking - Control Your Anger


While breathing life and going through many socioeconomic experiences, joy or sadness, fear or anger, love or hate are inevitable factors that always affect peoples' ways of survival in a constructive or destructive manner. We all know that our lives do not always follow the same pattern. We encounter with different experiences.

The perceptions of people about other individuals' personal behaviors are also the things that most of us don't give deeper attentions to. For instance, there are people whom others always believe to be happy or sad. There are also people whom we always think that they never get angry or are fearless. Even, are not there people that we love or hate just from a distance without knowing them well?

There are several human behaviors that we are given by nature but to handle them in a way that could serve our and others' existential interests for better tomorrow. And anger is the major issue of concern here. It is so natural that some people seem like they walk around looking for a simple reason to get angry. They get angry on everything they see or hear. On the other hand, there are people who always seem patient even in the most aggressive situations.

However, most of the people have their own convincing reason to get angry even though others may not understand them. But their anger-driven actions could cause a big deal of conflict that may even affect not only theirs but others' lives. My friend gets angry all the time. He even gets angry when we tell him anger would cause him hypertension or other deadly noncommunicable diseases.

But I remember one day that I just gave him a whole a lot of leave alone for the reason and his explanation he has got angry. We were listening a newly released pop song that quotes a famous saying which goes as "Only the good die young". The moment my friend heard this quote in the song, he said to me "That is the most reckless quote I ever heard. Why should I have to die too soon if I am good in this life? Leaving this world too soon is never meant for the good ones. Only the bad ones deserve giving up this beautiful life".

I thought my friend did not realize that unreasonable bad people use the advantage of the good ones and are the reasons why good people die too soon. But he argued that "the word is good, not weak. So, if one is good, he/ she is capable of living longer and the bad or weak has to go".

I couldn't understand my friend's philosophy but I just gave that thought the whole a lot of leave alone and went on minding if anger is still a problem in our societies. Why not?

Memihir(a theology teacher) Sisay Wogayehu told The Ethiopian Herald establishing and sustaining healthy inter personal relationship is necessary and practicing anger management should be part of everyone's life style.

He noted that if one cannot see deep into him/her self, he cannot tell what's going on in others' life. "I have studied anger management from foreign scholars' perspectives. When it comes to our traditional practices of expressing feelings, it has been considered wrong to show anger. In our traditional ways, being passive is more preferred than expressing our feelings. It is even considered as being modest."

However, being aggressive or overwhelmingly patient is not good to any individual in any society, said Sisay. Things always need balance.

He also indicated that no matter how anger is expressed, people have to deal with in correcting the mistakes. Religious institutions particularly are expected to play a significant role in solving conflicts which are results of anger. Even though religious institutions teach the best ways to peace and love, they don't intend to involve in anger management practices.

The reason behind any conflict is anger, said Sisay. And holding grudges could lead to revenge. Gradually things would go to unexpected levels and cause social crisis that would last longer.

But it is possible to solve such problems before they bring too much damage in the society. If people are brought together and thought how to control their anger, the damages would be lesser. "There is a peer group established by me and other few people interested in this topic. We have started conducting researches on such issues. Our next step would be spreading an anger management practice which comprises of our traditional court and conflict resolution systems," he noted.


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