Lessons from a punching bag

And how we can overcome all the rage in the world

It is a sunny day, and it is great! George greets the person while crossing the road. His friends give him a bright smile from far. It is a blissful morning.

Suddenly the world stops revolving around him. The project that he submitted gets rejected because of a minor error, and now he has to go back to the store to rectify it. The long queue is not helping either.

The anger starts filling in. With every second that passes by, George desperately wants a way to let it all out. Luckily for him, Sam casually walks by and looks up. George seizes the opportunity.

All rational is lost in the split second and words start to defy logic. The roar is heard all around and Sam is left thinking “But what did I do wrong?”.

A few hours later, George realizes how childish he was, apologizes to Sam. Lucky yet again, Sam forgives him. The world now returns to order.

Hopefully. For the time being.

Until the next eruption happens elsewhere.

“Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it.”

We all have been in the shoes of these two gentlemen, mostly as George but once in a while as Sam. What happens is a transmission of emotions and suppressed anger that the mind just wants to get rid of it. Yet, when we resort to such means, it just becomes the catalyst for the person next in line to ruin someone else’s day. In the heat of the moment, mistakes happen and they leave us in a worse state.

In many ways, Sam was the punching bag for George, to take in all the suppressed rage and not retort. How is it that Sam stood there with a smile and was quick to forgive? Or rather, how could this situation have been handled differently? Let us try to take a closer look.

Where two discourse, if the one’s anger rise, the man who lets the contest fall is wise — Euripides

Mood swings are unpredictable — so be ready!

George did not wake up to the sun shine knowing his project was going to fail. Nor did Sam realize that someone was going to shout at him for no reason. So keep your arms wide open to accept all that might turn out.

For George, having a mechanism to release the negativity within would immensely help. Punching bags take all the blows, pillows hide the screams and for me, riffle — shuffling a deck of cards help me relax. Try to find what suits you, and try to simmer it out.

In situations where you cannot find you relaxation tool around you, learning the art of breathing deep does help. When you can calm your muscles and nerves, you start to see clearly and find the source of your anger — the dissatisfaction and irritation towards someone/something. Then all you have to do is to tell yourself “Everything shall come to pass” and move on from there.

Speak when you are angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret — Laurence J. Peter

Test of Tolerance — and benevolence

For Sam on the other hand, the challenge is much greater. Not only should he stay mum when George releases all his anger, Sam must also ensure he lets go of it before it hurts someone else. No one gets this right at first. Some retort back and make things worse for two, or remain sad genuinely thinking he did something wrong.

Laugh and let all teh negativity go

It takes a lot of patience and control to empathies with George and understand the bad day he must have had. Yes, it might have been wrong for George to be irrationally angry at him, but now it is Sam’s the turn to decide how to react to this. And the best would be to remember “Everything shall come to pass” and forgive with a big smile and positive heart!

When you forgive, you in no way change the past — but you sure do change the future. — Bernard Meltzer

People may say there is no medicine for short temper but practice does make a man perfect. So the next time you feel deep anger within, try to find the stress ball and save someone else’s day. And if someone screams at you, well, let it go and peace will follow you everywhere.

Forgiveness and Openness unlocks the world of eternal satisfaction :)



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store