Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Anger management

If I told you that you had won the lottery and handed you the winning ticket, would it change your mood? What if someone that very next minute said something obnoxious, someone close to you, talking to you in a hurtful way. Something really obnoxious and shallow. Would you get angry? Would you have the strength to ignore it? Would you at least be able to control the explosion? Maybe contain it instead of letting it blow away that good feeling of having won the lottery?

The point is that without a purpose to your life, you won't be able to. Without meaning, which is outside the current situation, but has the power to help you see the situation differently, you won't be able to get through the day.

Orthodox Judaism teaches that life has a huge purpose. Serving God.

The idea of serving God is not appealing to a person who doesn't feel they benefit from such an activity. But for people who do see the value in Serving God, people for who service of God is a live, flowing experience of His Holiness, for such winners of the spiritual lottery there is a way to handle anger. Because just as a man would be a fool to burn his winning lottery ticket, so too would he be a fool to burn up his relationship to God.

A princess was in love with a peasant. But the king wanted her to marry a prince from a far away land. It would help build the kingdom. The princess wanted to please her father but she loved the peasant.

One night she ran away. She gave it all up and ran. The king was distraught but the princess, knowing this would be so, had left him a letter saying - There was a fire raging but I'll be back.

It was raining heavily. She ran through the night, swamps, mud, sewage. Finally, she arrived. The bridge under which the peasant lived was safe. She married him. She wanted to bring him back to the palace. But the peasant said it would cause a fire and they must wait. So they lived under the bridge, and waited.

Sometimes there is no way to change another person immediately. But over time, quiet persistence might accomplish what a thousand battle ships could not.

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