Menticulture - Anger Is Destructive To All That Is Attractive In Man
( Originally Published 1901 )
LAURA DE FORCE GORDON
It needs no argument to establish the fact that anger is absolutely destructive of all that is most attractive and lovable in human kind. Who does not know that a violent temper, frequently indulged in, seams and wrinkles the face, gives to the eye the furtive glance of the serpent, and all too often leads to insanity? Some years -ago, while visiting a state institution for the insane in a New England city, I asked the physician in charge what was the most prolific cause of insanity, and was greatly surprised at his ready reply, " An ungovernable temper." My recollection is that he estimated that seventy percent of insanity could be traced to that cause. The student of pathological sciences is familiar with the statement of learned physicians that such has been the direct effect of a violent fit of anger upon the physical condition of a mother that her nursing babe has been thrown into convulsions from imbibing the milk from her breast. Nothing can turn a home of peace into a sheol of discord so quickly as a furious temper. Of course, this demon should be banished; and so far as Mr. Fletcher has indicated how this may be accomplished, he confers a favor upon the world. The first step is always in the proper care and training of children. They should never be permitted to hear a cross or angry word. No frown even should ever obscure the sunlight of love that ought to beam unceasingly upon each tender life in its perilous march towards manhood and womanhood. Heredity has much to do with character, and therefore happiness; but environment and opportunity do more. Children reflect the words, manners, and largely the dispositions of their teachers in early life. A violent temper can be subdued for a time by fear of punishment. But to eradicate it, untiring patience and loving tenderness must be the treatment. An " ugly temper " was never yet cured by blows, and a child subjected to such treatment " nurses wrath ;" and if we " sow the wind, we reap the whirlwind." The mature man and woman can often, by self-discipline, undo the evils of youthful training, and tone down heredity by curbing angry passions. Refuse to act, speak, or think " cross." One instant's reflection will often stifle a bitter, wrathful word. If the passion of anger is thus overcome, it soon grows weak, and in time dies for want of exercise. We need not trouble to discuss the evils and remedies of " worrying." They are Siamese twins. We have only to stifle "anger," and "worry " will give up the ghost.
Mr. Fletcher and others who write along similar lines but voice the ideas entertained by nearly all advanced thinkers upon this great truth: That life can be made beautiful, and almost indefinitely prolonged, by proper regard to dietetics, exercise, dress, and, above all, by constant discipline of the will, disposition, temper, and every other function and attribute which constitute the real being.