Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln’s secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, was angered by an army officer who accused him of favoritism. Stanton complained to Lincoln, who suggested that Stanton write the officer a sharp letter. Stanton did, and showed the strongly worded missive to the president. “What are you going to do with it?” Lincoln inquired. Surprised, Stanton replied, “Send it.”

Lincoln shook his head. “You don’t want to send that letter,” he said. “Put it in the stove. That’s what I do when I have written a letter while I am angry. It’s a good letter and you had a good time writing it and feel better. Now burn it, and write another.”


Amish

An author for READERS DIGEST writes how he studied the Amish people in preparation for an article on them. In his observation at the school yard, he noted that the children never screamed or yelled. This amazed him. He spoke to the schoolmaster. He remarked how he had not once heard an Amish child yell, and asked why the schoolmaster thought that was so. The schoolmaster replied, “Well, have you ever heard an Amish adult yell?”

Counter Attack, Jay Carty, Multnomah Press, 1988, p. 41ff


Anger vs. exasperation

A father wanted to illustrate to his son the difference between “anger” and “exasperation.” He looked up the phone number of a pompous fellow commuter whom he knew only by name and reputation, and he dialed the number. When the call was answered by the man, the father asked, “Is Adolph there?” “There’s no Adolph here. Why don’t you get the right number before bothering people this hour of the night?” roared the man on the other end.

“Now that,” said the father when he put down the phone, “was simply annoyance. We’ll wait a few minutes, and then you’ll hear something.” After a decent interval, the father dialed the same number and again asked, “Is Adolph there?” This time the other party literally screamed into the phone, “What’s the matter with you, are you crazy? I told you to look up the number and stop bothering me!” Whereupon the receiver at the other end was slammed down. “Now that fellow was angry,” said the father. “In a few minutes I will show you what I mean by exasperation compared to anger.”

After 15 minutes or so, the father dialed the same number for the third time, and when the same man answered at the other end, the father said almost cheerily, “Hello, this is Adolph. Have there been any messages for me during the past half hour or so?”

Ralph L. Woods, The Modern Handbook of Humor, McGraw-Hill, quoted in Bits & Pieces, June 22, 1995, pp. 3-5.


18th century surgeon

The 18th-century British physician John Hunter, who was a pioneer in the field of surgery and served as surgeon to King George III, suffered from angina. Discovering that his attacks were often brought on by anger, Hunter lamented, “My life is at the mercy of any scoundrel who chooses to put me in a passion.” These words proved prophetic, for at a meeting of the board of St. George’s Hospital in London, Hunter got into a heated argument with other board members, walked out, and dropped dead in the next room.


Bull moose

A national park ranger in British Columbia has two sets of huge antlers, as wide as a man’s reach locked together.

Evidently 2 bull moose began fighting, their antlers locked, and they could not get free. They died due to anger.

— National Geographic, November, 1985.


Squeaking chalk

It happens every time the prof calls a group of students to the board to solve a physics problem. Someone holds the chalk wrong and sends chills up and down the spines of everyone in the class with that familiar classroom torture technique: “squeaky chalk.”

Why does a piece of chalk produce that hideous squeal? According to the book, The Flying Circus of Physics (With Answers), squealing chalk results from the phenomenon of “stick and slip.” Incorrectly held chalk actually sticks to the blackboard. But when the writer bends the chalk enough, it suddenly slips and vibrates, sporadically striking the chalkboard and producing that squeal we hear. As the vibrations decrease, the friction between the chalk and the board increases until the chalk sticks again and the torture begins once more.

Sometimes rather than get angry with the person who is rubbing against us the wrong way, perhaps it would be better to leave before the quarrel breaks out.


Comparisons like a sports car

Getting angry can sometimes be like leaping into a wonderfully responsive sports car, gunning the motor, taking off at high speed and then discovering the brakes are out of order.


The lion and the cougar

A pointed fable is told about a young lion and a cougar. Both thirsty, the animals arrived at their usual water hole at the same time. They immediately began to argue about who should satisfy their thirst first. The argument became heated, and each decided he would rather die than give up the privilege of being first to quench his thirst.

As they stubbornly confronted each other, their emotions turned to rage. Their cruel attacks on each other were suddenly interrupted. They both looked up. Circling overhead was a flock of vultures waiting for the loser to fall. Quietly, the two beasts turned and walked away. The thought of being devoured was all they needed to end their quarrel.


Conductor

The great Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini was legendary for his fits of rage. The librarian of one of Toscanini’s orchestras was particularly vexed by the maestro’s habit of throwing valuable musical scores at the musicians when angry. Watching closely, the librarian observed that Toscanini’s first act when enraged was to take his baton in both hands and try to break it. If the baton snapped, Toscanini usually calmed down and rehearsal continued. If the baton did not break, he began hurling scores.

The librarian’s solution? He made sure the conductor had a generous supply of flimsy batons on hand for rehearsal!


Count to 10

A physical man has to count to 10. A spiritual man only counts to 9. (the 9 fruits of the spirit).


Don’t blow your top

Any person who can make his opponent lose his temper can defeat him whether it be an athletic contest, debate, or personal encounter.

A guide commenting on the height of a mountain range in South America made this statement about a certain jagged volcanic mountain, “This would have been our tallest if it had not blown its top.” This can be said of many people who could not maintain the composure of coolness.


Effects remain afterwards

There was a boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

“You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out, it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.”


Feather pillows

A certain good woman one day said something that hurt her best friend of many years. She regretted it immediately, and would have done anything to have taken the words back. But they were said, impulsively, in a moment of thoughtlessness, and as close as she and her friend were, she didn’t consider the effects of her words beforehand. What she said hurt the friend so much that this good woman was herself hurt for the pain she caused. In her effort to undo what she had done, she went to an older, wiser woman in the village. Explaining her situation, and asked for advice.

The older woman listened patiently in an effort to determine just how sincere the younger woman was, how far she was willing to go to correct the situation. She explained that sometimes, in order put things back in order, great efforts must be made. She then asked: “Just what would you be willing to do, to repair the harm done?”

The answer was heartfelt. “Anything”

Listening to her, the older woman, sensed the younger woman’s distress, and knew she must help her. She also knew she could never alleviate her pain by living her life for her, but she could teach, if the younger woman would first listen, and then learn. She knew the outcome would depend solely on the character of the younger woman.

She said, “There are two things needed do to make amends. The first of the two is extremely difficult. Tonight, take your best feather pillows, and open a small hole in each one. Then, before the sun rises, you must put a single feather on the doorstep of each house in town. When you are through, come back to me. If you’ve done the first thing completely, I’ll tell you the second.”

The young woman hurried home to prepare for her chore, even though the pillows were very dear to her, very expensive. All night long she labored alone in the cold. She went from doorstep to doorstep, taking care not to overlook a single house. Her fingers were frozen, the wind was so sharp it caused her eyes to water, but she ran on, through the darkened streets, thankful there was something she could do to put things back the way they once were. Finally, as the sky was getting light, she placed the last feather on the steps of the last house.

Just as the sun rose, she returned to the older woman. She was exhausted, but relieved that her efforts would be rewarded.

“My pillows are empty. I placed a feather on the doorstep of each home,” she reported.

Now, said the wise woman, “Go and refill your pillows. Then everything will be as it was before.”

The young woman was stunned. “You know that’s impossible! The wind blew away each feather as fast as I placed them on the doorsteps! You didn’t say I had to get them back! If this is the second requirement, then things will never be the same.”

“That’s true”, said the older woman. “Never forget. Each of your words is like a feather in the wind.
Once spoken, no amount of effort, regardless how heartfelt or sincere, can ever return them to your mouth. Choose your words well, and guard them most of all in the presence of those you love.”


Flight attendant

As a passenger boarded the Los Angeles-to-New York plane, he told the flight attendant to wake him and make sure he got off in Dallas. The passenger awoke just as the plane was landing in New York. Furious, he called the flight attendant and demanded an explanation. The fellow mumbled an apology and, in a rage, the passenger stomped off the plane.

“Boy, was he ever mad!” another crew member observed to her errant colleague.

“If you think he was mad,” replied the flight attendant, “you should have seen the guy I put off the plane in Dallas!” — Source unknown


Hostility can hurt your heart

Doctors from Coral Gables, Fla., compared the efficiency of the heart’s pumping action in 18 men with coronary artery disease to nine healthy controls.

Each of the study participants underwent one physical stress test (riding an exercise bicycle) and three mental stress tests (doing math problems in their heads, recalling a recent incident that had made them very angry, and giving a short speech to defend themselves against a hypothetical charge of shoplifting). Using sophisticated X-ray techniques, the doctors took pictures of the subjects’ hearts in action during these tests.

For all the subjects, anger reduced the amount of blood that the heart pumped to body tissues more than the other tests, but this was especially true for those who had heart disease.

Why anger is so much more potent than fear or mental stress is anybody’s guess. But until we see more research on this subject, it couldn’t hurt to count to 10 before you blow your stack.

Spokesman-Review, July 29, 1993, Page D3


Japanese shouting contest

A father of three won a shouting contest with a roar louder than a passing train.

“If you want a war, you go!” Yoshihiko Kato shouted. The sound meter registered 115.8 decibels, louder than the racket of a train passing overhead on an elevated railroad.

For that winning shout, Kato won the $750 grand prize of the 10th annual Halls
Year-End Loud Voice Contest. Kato admitted that he probably built up his loud voice shouting at his children.

— Resource, Jan/Feb 1991.


Little boys and nails

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence.

He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”


Medical evidence

Doctors from Coral Gables, Fla., compared the efficiency of the heart’s pumping action in 18 men with coronary artery disease to nine healthy controls. Each of the study participants underwent one physical stress test (riding an exercise bicycle) and three mental stress tests (doing math problems in their heads, recalling a recent incident that had made them very angry, and giving a short speech to defend themselves against a hypothetical charge of shoplifting).

Using sophisticated X-ray techniques, the doctors took pictures of the subjects’ hearts in action during these tests. For all the subjects, anger reduced the amount of blood that the heart pumped to body tissues more than the other tests, but this was especially true for those who had heart disease.

Why anger is so much more potent than fear or mental stress is anybody’s guess. But until we see more research on this subject, it couldn’t hurt to count to 10 before you blow your stack.

— Spokesman-Review, July 29, 1993, p. D3.


Anger one liners

“Grow angry slowly. There’s plenty of time.”

A lot of us loose control when we get angry. We are kind of like the man who said,
“I’m so think, I can’t mad straight.”

“Hot tempers lead to cool friends.”

“The worst-tempered people I’ve ever met were people who knew they were wrong.”

“A chip on the shoulder indicates there is wood higher up.”

Any person who can make his opponent lose his temper can defeat him whether it be an athletic contest, debate, or personal encounter.

A guide commenting on the height of a mountain range in South America made this statement about a certain jagged volcanic mountain: “This would have been our tallest if it had not blown its top.” This can be said of many people who could not maintain the composure of coolness.

“Men often make up in wrath what they want (lack) in reason.”

“To rule one’s anger is well; to prevent it is still better.”

“An angry man opens his mouth and shuts up his eyes.”

“Anger is like a stone cast into a wasp’s nest.”


Poetry

It doesn’t pay to say too much
when you are mad enough to choke.
For the word that stings the deepest
is the word that is never spoke,
Let the other fellow wrangle
till the storm has blown away,
then he’ll do a heap of thinking
about the things you didn’t say.
— James Whitcomb Riley

 

Have you ever noticed just how
heavy certain words can be;
Like hatred, resentment, anger,
pride and animosity?

Their yoke cuts deeply into your flesh,
they curl around your heart;
and brother love they soon enmesh
down to the last small part.

The more you cherish heavy words
the harsher is your load.
You find that soon you’re staggering;
uncertain is your road.

There is no room for staggering
upon the narrow one,
and when you seek the broader path
your days with Jah are done.

So lighten up your load my friend,
and pad your yoke with love.
With a kindly yoke and a lightened load
you can serve our God above.

— George R. Kalista

 

When I have lost my temper I have lost my reason, too.
I’m never proud of anything which angrily I do.

When I have Talked in anger and my cheeks were flaming red,
I have always uttered something which I wish I hadn’t said.

In anger I have never done a kindly deed or wise,
But many things for which I felt I should apologize.

In looking back across my life, and all I’ve lost or made,
I can’t recall a single time when fury ever paid.

So I struggle to be patient, for I’ve reached a wiser age;
I do not want to do a thing or speak a word in rage.

I have learned by sad experience that when my temper flies,
I never do a worthy thing, a decent deed or wise.

— Anonymous


The Poisonous Root

Webster says of bitterness, “Extreme enmity; sharpness; severity of temper; spite; intense hostility.” Roget’s Thesaurus gives these
synonyms: “resentment, rancor, acrimony, sharpness, hard feelings.”

The Bible warns us about bitterness very clearly in several passages. In Hebrews 12:14-15, we read, “Pursue peace with all people…that no poisonous root (root of bitterness-kj) may spring up and cause trouble and that many may not be defiled by it.”

If you have ever raised asparagus, you will understand that idea of a poisonous root.’ You plant asparagus as a root. The first year it just lies there under the surface of the ground and you get the idea that maybe it has disappeared or died. But the second year it comes springing up and you have your crop. Bitterness can lay seemingly dormant under the surface for months or years and then, suddenly, it springs up and takes over.”

That can be the way with us. If we harbor resentment and don’t purge it from ourselves completely, it may spring back up later in a completely different context.


Righteous anger

A person who is angry on the right grounds, against the right persons, in the right manner, at the right moment, and for the right length of time deserves great praise.

Bits & Pieces, May 27, 1993, Page 1


Short quotes

The rage you feel does more damage to the vessel in which it is stored
than to the object on which it is poured.

Before you give somebody a piece of your mind, be sure you can get by with what you have left!

You can’t get rid of your temper by losing it.

Nothing cooks your goose more quickly than a boiling temper.

When you are right, you can afford to keep your temper. When you are wrong, you can’t afford to lose it.

Some people think they are big shots because they are always exploding!

Men and pins are useless when they lose their heads.

The trouble with letting off steam is — it only gets you into more hot water.

Swallowing angry words is much easier than having to eat them!

He who blows his stack adds to the world’s pollution.

If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.

People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.

He that loses his head is usually the last one to miss it.

Little pots soon boil over!

The best answer to anger is silence

The size of a man is measured by the size of the thing that makes him angry.

He that blows the coals in quarrels that he has nothing to do with, has no right to complain if the sparks fly in his face — Benjamin Franklin

People who know the least always argue the most

Silence is one of the hardest things to refute.

It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.

Quarrels wouldn’t last as long, if the fault was only on one side.

The greatest remedy for anger is delay. — Seneca

An angry man opens his mouth and shuts up his eyes. — Cato

Anger begins with folly, and ends with repentance. — H. G. Bohn

Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.

Your temper is like a fire — it gets very destructive when it gets out of control.

A man is never in worse company than when he flies in a rage and is beside himself.

Anger is one letter short of danger; greatest remedy for anger is delay.

Temper is a valuable possession, don’t lose it.

Grow angry slowly. There’s plenty of time.

A lot of us lose control when we get angry. We are kind of like the man who said, “I’m so think, I can’t mad straight.

Hot tempers lead to cool friends.

The worst-tempered people I’ve ever met were people who knew they were wrong.

Any person who can make his opponent lose his temper can defeat him whether it be an athletic contest, debate, or personal encounter. A guide commenting on the height of a mountain range in South America made this statement about a certain jagged volcanic mountain, “This would have been our tallest if it had not blown its top.” This can be said of many people who could not maintain the composure of coolness.

Men often make up in wrath what they want (lack) in reason.

To rule one’s anger is well; to prevent it is still better.

An angry man opens his mouth and shuts up his eyes.

Anger is like a stone cast into a wasp’s nest.

Hot words never resulted in cool judgment.

He who has a sharp tongue usually cuts his own throat.

You can’t put things across by being cross.

Speak when you’re angry, and you’ll make the best speech you’ll ever regret.

The best way to get rid of a hot head is to give him the cold shoulder.

For every minute you’re angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness.

Anyone who angers you conquers you.

Men with clenched fists cannot shake hands.

No one can be reasonable and angry at the same time.

He that loses his head doesn’t use it!

Temper makes iron stronger. Temper makes people weaker.

Anger is the refuge of the insecure.

No one can be reasonable and angry at the same time.

He that loses his head doesn’t use it!

You don’t get ulcers from what you eat. You get them from what’s eating you.


Shotgun

A lady once tried to rationalize her angry outbursts. “There’s nothing wrong with losing my temper,” she said. “I blow up, and then it’s all over.”

The one she was trying to persuade answered, “So does a shotgun, and look at the damage it leaves behind!”


Submarine

Anger can have devastating effects on the angry person. This can be illustrated by the story from World War II in which a submarine was engaged in battle off the coast of China.

The boat was down to its last eight torpedoes, so each shot must count.

The submarine surfaced near a large Japanese convoy of ships. Seven of the “fish” were on target. But when the eighth was launched, something went haywire.

The torpedo changed course and came right back at the ship that fired it. The emergency alarm rang but it was too late. The boat was hit and sank with a great loss of life. Only a few survivors to tell the historians what happened.

Anger can be like that. It rarely accomplishes any good and almost always causes damage to the angry person.

The medical community has reported many times that problems such as headaches, allergic disorders, high blood pressure, heart problems and many other such maladies can be traced back to continued hostility on the part of the individual.

Truly the Scriptures advise us to avoid this deadly course of self-destruction!


Where are all the idiots?

Road rage is quite common, not just in America, but is spreading to the rest of the world as well.

One such driver is the father of a young boy. This particular driver has no regard for those forced to share the roadway with him.

He yells and shouts at other drivers everywhere he goes.

The little guy observes his father’s actions while being taken home one day.

Later, he goes to town shopping with his mother. As they are driving along peacefully, the boy asks, “Mommy, where are all the idiots?”

His puzzled mother asked what he was talking about.

“Well, this morning with Dad, we saw idiots driving everywhere. I was just wondering what happened to them.”


Woodpecker

Have you heard about the story of a man who woke up at five o’clock to a noise that sounded like someone repairing boilers on his roof. Still in his pajamas, he went into the back yard to investigate. He found a woodpecker on the TV antenna, “pounding its little brains out on the metal pole.”

Angry at the little creature who ruined his sleep, he picked up a rock and threw it. The rock sailed over the house, and he heard a distant crash as it hit the car. In utter disgust, the fellow then took a vicious kick at a clod of dirt, only to remember — too late — that he was still in his bare feet.

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