“Not”!! Was my immediate reaction when I saw a sign that read “The only answer to anger is silence”.
Hmmm… It is perhaps an answer but I would propose it is most certainly not the answer, nor is it the best, in my (not so humble) opinion.
When I mentioned the sign to my 17 year old son, his response was that silence may just cover up your own anger, which I thought was rather insightful.
Often when a person is angry, it is a response to a more uncomfortable feeling, fear or shame perhaps. When this energy is met with silence it is like a car hitting a brick wall at 60 miles per hour; it may stop but it won’t be pretty.
Recently I have been experimenting with compassion, for myself and for every person I meet. Some of my practices:
- Look people in the eye, smile and wish them peace and joy (in your head or aloud).
- Find ways to be of service – hold open the door, let another car into traffic, allow someone who looks rushed ahead of you in the queue.
- Pick a person (or a group) you judge harshly, learn more about them and then pray (or whatever your version of prayer is) for them. (This is the BIG one…be ready for your heart and your world to shift dramatically!!)
Compassion is transforming my life and how I am in the world, which cannot help but change my interaction with others. Love dislodges fear, acceptance replaces disconnect and life feels abundant.
In response to the sign I saw today – “Compassion is a wonderful answer to anger”.