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Emotions, especially anger, are deep habits that remain in the repertoire of the human brain as a trade-off in the evolutionary quest for survival. Anger is instrumental in our existence as a species. It evolved to help us cope with threatening events and dangerous situations. It pushes us to attack back the offender and save ourselves and protects us from the negative consequences that may harm our immediate welfare.
While our emotional systems were built to help us cope with environmental challenges to our survival that faced us over the past 200,000 years, the main question right now is:
Are emotions, particularly anger, adaptive in today’s world?
Our emotion, which played such an important role dealing with a dangerous world of predators and animals, is what fuels the tribe/nation wars, clashes of civilizations, and domestic violence. As the world has progressed, we need to learn how to regulate our emotions to live in a civilized, new world. We need to tame the primitive instincts that we share with our animal relatives.
Anger allowed humans to rapidly, efficiently, automatically, and unconsciously react to the world without thinking. Without anger, we wouldn’t be here! However, as the landscape of our life has changed and human cultures have evolved, our emotional mechanism has not yet. We still cope with today’s environment with yesterday’s emotional system. In today modern life, anger poses a great danger to individuals, societies and the human race. The early survival mechanism has persisted beyond/past their time and anger, as an instinct, has mostly outlived its effectiveness.
While now, the anger mechanism still operates as it is and integral part of our being, the physical danger rarely exists. As humans, we haven’t quite caught out to the fact that we are no longer needed to be aggressive as our life is safer than ever. We have evolved to recognize that we are entitled to live peacefully without the habitual and impulsive nature of anger that leads to aggressiveness. It is time to use the anger force to better mankind and transform our self and our society and reach a higher level of being.
We now need to learn how to tunnel anger to be a productive energy in our life rather than acting in an aggressive manner, as if we are going to die. So, don’t let anger become a toxic habit, don’t let resentment become routine, or hatred be absolute. It will only drag you down and hurt you. We need to leverage anger correctly, not suppress or ignore it, but utilize it wisely.
The wisdom of anger is deep within us and lay underneath the instinctual and habitual manifestation of anger. We all experience the wisdom of anger when we see how society mistreats people and are inspired to say no to injustice and fight for something better. Rather than being confused act in an angry manner that causes suffering, we can use the wisdom of anger as a source of strength, fearlessness, and unity. It is then when anger transforms into a positive force.
When anger serves to ease universal suffering and make the world a better place, it is wisdom. As such, we do have the power to transform the habit of anger and aggression into the wisdom toward peace and harmony.