Anger is a mysterious thing. Sometimes I think that the only need to display anger is to display it for the sake of getting things done.
I was getting angry at the lieutenants for not letting me on my flight, despite me having “special authorization” from the embassy of Canada in Ontario, to be able to have access to Canada. I also spent $600 more than I expected on travelling (cabs, planes + buses).
This entire experience was nothing close to pleasant. I did not sleep in a bed (barely at all) for 48 hours.
I don’t remember being that exhausted. Everything felt bad.
As someone that reads about Philosophy, it kept dawning on me that my reading and the Ethics that I want to uphold are helping me in that situation.
Was I mad? Yes.
I still haven’t completely discerned whether I should have been mad in that situation. I have started debating it within myself.
The worst of the worst happened. I didn’t expect this to happen whatsoever, yet it did — and some people were even telling me that it would happen. So why would I need see it?
It could be said that I am hopelessly optimistic about the future.
We all think we are in a way invincible against what the future holds. But when cancer hits, or our parents dies at the age of 21, or you go downstairs to have breakfast with your grandma and she doesn’t get up from bed, we are surprised.
The Stoics argue that these things should not surprise us:
“Self-control is the highest virtue, and wisdom is to speak truth and consciously to act according to nature. It pertains to all men to know themselves and to learn self control. For men to have whatever they wish, would not be well. Sickness makes health pleasant and good; hunger, satiety; weariness, rest. It is hard to contend against passion, for whatever it craves it buys with its life.” (Fragments Attributed to Heraclitus, p.4)
Charging at a Fortress
One analogy that I’ve heard that I tend to come back to is this one. Picture all of us charging at a fortress with archers on the top of the castle walls, firing arrows at us. And we are — for some reason — surprised by the fact that some hit us.
This is life.
We are all fighting against gravity, yet we’re surprised when our bones start aching and/or we get wrinkles. It’s inevitable. Death is here. Death is now. It’s coming for all of us.
Stoic philosophy teaches that anger is always unreasonable and even a “weakness”:
Anger is not impressive, in this line of thinking. It is to be disposed of.
That is my goal, to always communicate from a sense of understanding for the larger scope of blessings that have been given to us. In the end, we missed a plane — we didn’t miss anything serious. A plane ride can be bought.
Is it expensive? Yes.
Could it have been prevented if the right people were working at that moment or if I chose to fly with a different airline? Yes.
Nonetheless, these things happened and that is life.
We are to be continuously learning about how to control ourselves.
Please don’t do this to your life:
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I write to keep you thinking and to keep me thankful and reflective. Cheers cheers cheers and until next time,