Ancient wisdom for today (29)

August 29th 2012, Day 29, Proverbs 29

“A fool lets it all hang out; a sage quietly mulls it over.” Proverbs 29:11 (The Message)

Another version of the Bible renders this proverb as “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.” (New International Version – NIV 1984)

Stylised 'angry' emoticon Merriam-Webster lists a number of synonyms for the word anger including,

  • fury: “intense, disordered, and often destructive rage”
  • rage: “violent and uncontrolled anger”
  • indignation: “anger aroused by something unjust, unworthy, or mean”
  • outrage: “the anger and resentment aroused by injury or insult”

Clearly not all ‘anger’ is the same!

There’s plenty of ‘anger management’ advice available these days, which is relevant because although today’s proverb encourages not to give unbridled freedom to our anger I don’t think it is suggesting that we should simply try to suppress either – neither of these two is a healthy response. A healthy response is to manage our anger and seek an appropriate and healthy way to express it.

I found a number of delightful quotes about anger at The Quotations Page;

and these at Anger Management Groups;

  • “If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow,” Chinese Proverb
  • “Anger, if not restrained, is frequently more hurtful to us than the injury that provokes it,” Seneca
  • “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned,” Buddha
  • “People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing,” Will Rogers
  • “Do not teach your children never to be angry; teach them how to be angry,” Lyman Abbott
  • “Two things a man should never be angry at: what he can help, and what he cannot help,” Thomas Fuller

And one final, sobering thought if you have a tendency to ‘let it all hang out’ when you get angry (again from The Quotations Page);

“Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry.”
– Henry Ward Beecher US abolitionist & clergyman (1813 – 1887)