Anger is just one letter short of danger

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ANGER seems to dominate people's lives nowadays. But, being angry is not all bad. It can motivate one to seek out solutions and Rovio, the Finnish game developer of the popular game Angry Bird, capitalised on the very concept with angry-looking feathered game characters.

These angry-looking birds have a very strong fan-base with one billion downloads as of last year, according to PCMag.com recently.

Excessive anger, however, can be explosive and it is one of the root causes of many disasters.

Because of rage, we have read many news reports on incidents ranging from a husband hitting his wife in confinement out of jealousy to a Road Transport Department vehicle being torched by angry bystanders.

Look at what had happened in the Arab world that witnessed the outbreak of riots calling for revolution and changes.

It started as a worthy cause of snubbing out injustice. But the aftermath in some of these Arab nations saw them still struggling to get out from the mess that the revolution had created when anger took over the people's good sense.

I am all for changes, but only for those that can secure peaceful and positive outcomes for the nation and its people.

Unfortunately, in the political sphere nowadays, some quarters stir up anger to a higher crescendo for their own political mileage to garner support and votes.

With the 13th general election lurking around the corner, don't be surprised if anger is being used as a tool in the psychological warfare to win votes.

In Islam, Muslims have been told of the danger of anger through many hadiths. One of them is that the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said: "The strong man is not the one who can throw another down. The strong man is the one who can keep hold of himself when he is angry."

For Christians, Psalms 37:8 states: "Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil."

Buddha said: "You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger."

In Hinduism, anger is considered to be packed with more evil power than desire.

So, it is disturbing to see how furious some Malaysians of various creeds could be over differences in views and at those who do not share the same political conviction.

Some might say this could be interpreted as being overly excited to defend one's stand -- but at what cost?

If the outcomes are chaos, damaged properties and bodily harm, being highly motivated is not an acceptable excuse to fall back on.

To take over a leadership using public anger rather than level-headedness will not be healthy for the nation.

It is very scary to even ponder the possibility that leaders could one day roam the corridors of power in Putrajaya who are so used to politicising everything and stirring up the strong emotion of anger to get where they are that they have forgotten their actions will have repercussions on the people and even the economy.

For now, Putrajaya depicts peace and tranquillity led by leaders who mostly possess a healthy dose of reasonableness. I am not saying they are perfect leaders, but they must have done something right to have put Malaysia forward in many areas and to be recognised by many.

The latest casualty of the craze to politicise everything under the sun and to instigate anger is the pull-out from a RM75 billion proposed multi-billion mixed-development project in Balik Pulau, Penang.

It is not the politicians, but the common people on the street and their children who can benefit from job opportunities and the spillover economic activities that the multi-billion project will bring in.

Now, those in Thailand or Myammar will reap the profits from the investors of the multi-billion project.

Maybe it is high time for us to promote positivism in our daily lives and learn to control our anger. It will not be easy, but we must at least try.

There is also a Chinese proverb that goes: "If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape one hundred days of sorrow."

azuraa@nst.com.my


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