All human beings are emotional creatures. We react to external stimuli. Some emotions like love, romance, and hope are edifying. Some like fear and suspicion are incapacitating. Still others like anger, greed, and jealousy, if uncontrolled, can make us less than human.
A Person’s Temperament
Every person is born with a temperament. It influences everything we do. Part of it is inherited from our parents through our genes. Other parts we imbibe through our environment, our education, and the values we absorb as we interact with people and the world around us. We establish our own personal boundaries, and we are angry when people abuse or violate these boundaries.
Anger is not a forbidden trait. It is God-given and built into our system for our benefit. Thomas Fuller calls it, “the sinew of our souls.” Anyone who says he is never angry is a liar. A day rarely goes by without us feeling some form of anger. Human beings consider ourselves rational creatures. We have the capacity to differentiate between right and wrong. It is in the management of anger that we reveal our capacity to act responsibly and be accountable to ourselves while showing respect to others. Anger is like a small fire. We can use it to warm ourselves or we can stoke it into an inferno that will destroy us as well as the person against whom it is directed. It brings to mind the tale of the two cats of Kilkenny.