As a student of neuroscience, I understand that anger is one part of an automatic reaction to stress or danger. Continual anger doesn’t work all that well, though. In the long run, constant or habituated anger just isn’t all that practical. Eventually or ultimately:
Anger doesn’t last. Unless continually stoked by circumstances or other people, anger dissipates when the real or imagined danger has diminished.
Anger is expensive. Anger uses up enormous psychic and physical energy. Our brains and bodies can’t pay that high cost for very long without extensive damage.
Anger shuts down brains. In an angry state, only a few primitive brain structures are in control. Rationality, memory, empathy or love may be hard to come by.
Anger is not persuasive. There’s nothing logical about anger, and so the logical/sequential parts of our brains don’t function well as anger emerges.
Anger doesn’t motivate. Anger gets results at first, but only because violence is implicit. We may be frightened by others’ anger, but that doesn’t function as an intrinsic, lasting reason for action.
Anger lacks authority. Someone’s anger doesn’t mean that they have more clout than anyone else. In fact, a person’s anger may reveal just the opposite: They’re fearful.
Anger justifies nothing. By itself, anger imparts no inherent rights on the angry person. It’s not a legitimate (or lawful) excuse or defense for actions.
Anger redeems nothing. Anger doesn’t save or rescue. It doesn’t liberate or restore. Instead, the opposite may be true: Anger may be a trap—an emotional box canyon with no escape route.
Anger is seldom righteous. Only God’s anger is consistently righteous. Sometimes anger is defensible, but only infrequently. E.g., Opposition to evil is justifiable, but vengeance is not.
Anger does not protect. Anger may initially avoid or defeat danger. When the threat continues or is extremely strong, anger comes up short.
Anger brings no pleasure. Except for those genuinely addicted to anger—hooked on the feel-good neurotransmitters that can course through brains—the continuing presence of anger erodes physical, mental and spiritual well-being. It destroys relationships and capabilities.
NEXT TIME: Anger addiction
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