Let's face it, there are a lot of things that happen everyday that are annoying, upsetting, and downright infuriating. Indulging yourself by reacting to each possibly annoyer all out, without restraint can leave you angry pretty much of the time. You have to cut your losses, and stop to smell the roses, or at least the railroad daisies.
Let's stipulate that there are serious, bona fide things to be angry about. As the old saying goes, "Shit happens." To my way of thinking, annoyance and anger are deserved, they have a good reason. But then there's the small stuff.
I think most of us would agree that the frequency of sexual assault in the military is deserving of wrath; but especially if the system sometimes acts to cover it up or to excuse the perp. And the seeming inertia of government with regard to the budget and health care issues is a major league annoyance. So are people who crowd you while yacking loudly on a cell phone. (Some may actually use this as psychologically muscling you out of space you're already occupying.) Getting frustrated and bothered is legitimate,
But there's the small stuff. Consider the Kardashians. Yes, they're a tribe of publicity-seeking narcissists; but there's no reason to Keep Up With the Kardashians unless you're idle or read the wrong publications. And Miley Cyrus. Yes, she humped her butt against a guy's groin on-stage and appeared naked on a wrecking ball, but it was her party and she could act as dreadful as she wanted.
Those are minor annoyances.
So are some other little things:
1. People saying "no problem" instead of "you're welcome."
2. Navigating a telephone network that has several levels of buttons to press before you get your desired service.
3. The Amazing Race being delayed by a football game and Sixty Minutes. (God, I find them tedious!)
4. Sermons and speeches running longer than they should. Too much logorrhea.
These are occasions to chill to.
So here's my deal. On January 1 of each year, allow yourself some specific number of Anger Tokens. You choose your own limit. But, let's say 100 for sake of example. Each time you feel like being angry, subtract one token from your yearly quota.
And give yourself a limited number of Hissy Fit tokens. Say ten. [Guys, you are allowed hissy fits, too. No sexism when it comes to hissy fits.]
When you spent all your Anger Tokens, you allow yourself no more anger. Now, you got to be a sweetie.
But the point is, with time, you will learn to husband your Anger Tokens to make them last the year, and not squander them on small stuff.
Keep a rainy day supply of Anger Tokens.
And maybe deliberately seek out things that give you joy, or seem right, to offset these corrosive situations. For most of us, life is pretty good; but we can enhance it or detract from it by our attitudes toward life.
I think Seneca would go along with that idea.
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