“I would not look upon anger as something foreign to me that I have to fight… I have to deal with my anger with care, with love, with tenderness, with non-violence.” Thich Nhat Hanh
Tonight I went to see Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mohandes K. Gandhi (the Mahatma, ya’ll). Years ago, I read the autobiography of Gandhi (the grandfather) when I was going through difficult times in my life. My logic then was to read about people who had overcome great obstacles in life and found a “way”: African slaves in the US, Gandhi’s non-violent resistance to the British in India, MLK and the American Civil Rights Movement, the women pioneers and their expeditions to California in search of gold, and many others who had transcended the rules of what someone else saw as their role and place in life. I think my logic was sound and I helped myself through a most difficult time with the printed account of those brave souls who came before me.
Self Help Part Two: I listened to Mr. Gandhi speak of non-violence tonight and was the first to ask him a question during the Q&A session. He signed my book and offered this wisdom: non-violence is the key to happiness. We are all passively violent in so many more ways than we are physically violent on a daily basis. Passive violence can be characterized in ways that you may not consider ‘violence’ such as wastefulness and criticism. The passively violent create anger in others who believe they must act in a physically violent way to get revenge. Justice and revenge are two very different things.
I asked about this concept and he suggested keeping an Anger Journal. The purpose of which is to understand the anger and always work toward a non-violent solution to it by looking inside of myself. I have a journal which will become my Anger Journal. The goal of non-violence is not to suppress or deny anger as a legitimate emotion, but to channel it’s powerful energy into a positive force to be used for the good of all. Easier said than done, Mr. Gandhi but you (and your grandfather) are my inspiration and my proof of it’s possibility. Thank you, sir, for your words and living example.