30 Apr Finding happiness by managing anger
Thanks again to my friends and colleagues in the positive psychology network I found, today, this great quote from Ghandi’s grandson which touches on the important issue of anger management. Consistent with my oft repeated message that happiness isn’t just about feeling good, but that it’s also about appropriately managing the whole range of human emotions we appropriate experience, this portion of a great interview shows that happiness, and other positive outcomes, can stem from all manner of feelings including anger. Read on and enjoy…
I know you have many memories of your grandfather. Can you start by sharing with us one that is particularly vivid for you?
ARUN GANDHI: I think the most vivid memory I have of living, as a young boy, with him was his lesson in anger management. I was a very angry, young man when I was growing up in South Africa. I became a victim of prejudices, was beaten up by whites, and then by Blacks, because both did not like the color of my skin. It filled me with a lot of rage. I wanted, “eye-for-an-eye” justice. That is when my parents took me to him in India. I had the opportunity to live with Grandfather.
The first lesson he taught me was to understand that anger, and being able to channel that anger into positive action. He said that anger is like electricity. It is just as useful and just as powerful, if we use it intelligently. It can be just as deadly and destructive, if we abuse it. Just as we channel electricity, bring it into our lives and use it for the good of Humanity, we must learn to channel anger in the same way. We can use that energy for the good of Humanity, rather than abuse it. He taught me how to channel anger, how to write an anger journal – with the intention of finding a solution. I did this for many years. It helped me considerably in understanding and channeling the energy into positive action.