While studying the psychology of the mediation concept, I am thinking – if I were the affected one in any given situation, would I opt for mediation talk out OR respond with an angry fist, or angry legal notice, or angry silent tactic by excommunicating the other from my life…?
2 tales from the book “Tales of All the Times by The Mother Mirra Alfassa” plus the featured image from the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*uck” gather light on these thinking thoughts.
In a town in the north of France, I once knew a boy who was frank by nature but impetuous and always liable to lose his temper. I said to him one day:
“Which do you think is more difficult for a strong boy like you, to give a blow for blow and to let you fly your fist in the face of a friend who insults you or at that moment to keep your fist in your pocket.?”
“To keep it in my pocket,” he replied.
“And which di you think is more worthy of a brave boy like you, to do easier or the more difficult thing?”
“The more difficult thing,” he said after a moment’s hesitation.
“Well then, try to do it next time you get an opportunity.”
Sometime later, the young boy came to tell me, not without legitimate pride, that he had been able to do the “more difficult thing.” He said:
“One of my work-mates, who is known for his bad temper, stuck me in a moment of anger. Since he knows that normally I am not one to forgive and that I have a strong arm, he was preparing to defend himself when I remembered what you had told me. It was harder for me than I thought, but I put my fist in my pocket. And as soon as I did that, I felt no more anger in me, I only felt sorry for my friend. So, I held out my hand to him. That surprised him so much that he stood looking at me for a moment, open-mouthed, without speaking. Then he seized my hand, shook it vigorously and said with emotion: “Now you can do what you like with me, I am your friend forever.”
This boy had controlled his anger as Caliph Hussein once did.
Hussein was the grandson of the Prophet Mohammed. His office was beautiful and his purse well filled. Whoever offended him offended a rich man, and heavy is the anger of the rich.
One day a slave carrying a bowl of boiling hot water was passing by Hussein as he dined. By misfortune, a little water fell upon the grandson of the Prophet who let out a cry of rage.
Falling to his knees, the slave had the presence of mind to recall an appropriate verse of the Koran:
“Paradise is for those who bridle their anger,” he said.
“I am not angry,” broke in Hussein, touched by these words.
“…….. and for those who forgive men,” continued the slave.
“I forgive you,” said Hussein.
“…… for Allah loves the merciful,” the servant added.
In the course of this exchange, all of Hussein’s anger had vanished. Now wholly at peace with himself he made the slave rise and said:
“From now on you are free. Here, take these four hundred pieces of silver.”
In this way, Hussein learnt how to bridle his temper which was as generous as it was hasty. Since his noble character was neither wicked nor cruel, it was worthy of being controlled.
So, my reader, if it were you who was affected in any given situation, what would be your choice? The easy one, angry response or the difficult one, talking out?