We’ve all seen them among us: the driver who screams and yells at other drivers!
The partner who aggressively slams doors in anger. The person in the checkout line who berates and belittles the cashier. Such examples are not just anger, they are Rage! Rage is an indulgence that can actually cause physical alterations to the brain structure itself! In that sense, the person who characteristically gives vent to rage re-wires their brain and emotions to facilitate more rage! Finally, when the heart attack comes, it is the body’s way of saying, “Enough, you fool!”
There are all sorts of ways in which we can be foolish! We spend money we don’t have, ensuring that we will have even less money in the next month! We say words in anger that we are then too proud to apologize for. We say “yes” when we mean “no” and create an internal conflict that didn’t have to be were we only honest with others. The world in which we live affords us almost unlimited ways in which to be fools! So why are some people wise and happy and kind? The answer is that they hold before their eyes the goals of wisdom, happiness, and kindness!
When a jeweler is cutting a new diamond on his bench at eye level, every few seconds he looks up at the standard of excellence for which he strives in his own cutting. All of which makes the point that what we set before ourselves as an ideal or a goal will influence how and who we become. If a flawed and narcissistic sense of the self is the goal then all the world will become an obstacle for happiness, and a constant source of frustration and a generator of internal rage! If yearning to learn from others is the goal then almost unnoticed we will grow into the self that we should be. While driving during our 2010 Hawaii visit a young Hawaiian driver became impatient with us and zoomed around us, brandishing a finger and hurling negative endearments at us. I remember thinking, “Amazing! Even here in Paradise one can be foolish… if they set their mind to it!”