Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Talking in an Angry Manner

When I was a child, in the 1950's, my mother advised me to not talk frankly with others (coworkers, friends, relatives, acquaintances) about religion, politics, or sex. Why not?  She thought that too many people get overly emotional, too argumentative, narrow minded, and angry when discussing these topics.

My father was somewhat of a bully.  He was a hard working man, intelligent, successful, and worked as a mechanical engineer and manager.  He liked to frequently express his opinions to his wife and three sons about religion (he was a exclusive devotee of Catholicism), politics (Republican, conservative, Moral Majority, jingoistic), and culture (traditional, racist, male chauvinist).  Since he thought his views were correct and true, he tried his best to convince and indoctrinate us all in his viewpoints.  He was tiresome. a browbeater and intolerant.

By the age of 13, I decided that I did not share my father's viewpoints or beliefs, and was not going to live my life by these beliefs.  I had different views about how to think and how to live a good life.   

Donald Trump reminds me of my father: opinionated, argumentative, lacking diplomacy and subtlety, pushy, threatening, decisive, often angry, and a divisive and polarizing influence.  For a President, these qualities are dangerous.  I try to stay positive, listen, support positive ideas, and hope for the best; but, I am very doubtful about his leadership abilities.  

Anger is a powerful emotion, sometimes justified, but most often irrational and with tragic consequences. Do we do our best work when angry?  Do we make the best choices when angry?  Do we intelligently evaluate evidence when we are angry?  Do we enjoy life when we are angry?  Are we more helpful to others when we are angry?  Does anger contribute to a peaceful life with others?  Are angry people more tolerant?  Do angry people produce good work in the sciences, arts, or humanities?  Are angry people with guns helpful to our community?  Do you walk better, do yoga better, do Tai Chi Chuan better, garden better, or find spiritual solace better when you are angry?  

I don't discuss politics, religion or sexual customs very much in my blog or webpages.  I guess I listened more to my mother.

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