An Anger Seminar at a Traffic Stop

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

It was raining pretty heavily last week where I live. In fact, it was raining so hard on one particular day until the downpour seemingly brought everything to a standstill, especially when it came to being literally stuck in traffic while waiting for an seemingly unresponsive traffic stop light to mechanically work more quickly.

So, it’s at that point where my thoughts begin for today’s message  that I’m sending your way. And it’s a soul-searching missive for today that I feel we all need to give an ear to because it says so much about the human persona in many ways.

As I was stuck in traffic, I observed another impatient driver trying to cut in front of the car that was ahead of me. Of course, as divine providence would have it, it wasn’t to be, which angered the Euro-American gentleman who was in the vehicle that was ahead of me.

With obvious anger swirling around this annoyed gentleman in front of me, he repeated blew his horn at the guy who had attempted to cut in on him, trying to advance his position somewhat I imagine. Even though it was raining, and the traffic stop light was slow in operation, I could still see clearly the redness in the annoyed driver’s face as anger was apparently dominating his mindset. From constantly blowing his horn to throwing up the infamous finger, this enraged driver was not letting go of his angry tirade for the one-tracked minded disrespectful other driver. The cutting, impatient driver, who was now stuck in the crosshairs of stalled traffic, blocking everyone with nowhere to go, literally sat where he was anxiously waiting for the traffic stop light to turn green.

The angered driver, sensing this was his golden opportunity to give the impatient driver a piece of his mind I guess, got out of his car in the rain and headed towards the impatient driver’s vehicle, ready to confront the gentleman for his willful act of cutting in front of him. Thinking out loud, and with things as crazy and looney as they are and have become in America today on an hourly scale, I thought that this scenario may have been another road rage cell phone camera moment because I knew that something potentially hazardous was apparently going to take place.

Thank The Most High Alone nothing did because, just as the enraged driver was approaching the impatient driver’s car, the impatient driver was saved by an act of God as the traffic signal miraculously changed to green and everyone began to move forward at a brisk pace. This caused the enraged driver to be left standing isolated and alone in the middle of the street as cars were now swiftly advancing forward at a rapid pace in response to the traffic light’s green signal.

I was relieved that nothing heinous took place, and I couldn’t believe what I had just observed, especially over merely just being stuck in traffic and also after witnessing what could have possibly turned into something extremely chaotic. Needless to say, after I was progressing forward in my own car towards my personal destination, the scenario that I had witnessed made me think of what unwarranted anger, festering uprightness and the lack of mastering patience can do to any individual who doesn’t think before he or she acts or speaks.

Before I go any further, let me say to you openly that I’m a work in progress and I, too, need to work on controlling the anger that sometimes lurks within my own soul, heart and mind. Unfortunately, I know that I’ve probably done or said things while in anger’s grasp over my lifetime that I now, reflectively speaking, terribly regret. If you’re honestly reading what I’m saying today, you’ll probably have to truthfully admit that you may have been in the same zones of unwarranted anger and festering uptightness, lacking patience, that the aforementioned annoyed driver was in at some point(s) in your growth processes thus far. Because I’ve been there also, I’d like to drop some vintage thoughts about anger’s dangers, knowing that it can be a disease that we don’t need in order to go through life in a more peaceful state of being and coexistence.

First, let’s look at anger and what it means. Generally, it’s a state of being where any ethnic soul in “hue-manity” affected by this state, possesses or demonstrates an intense feeling of displeasure, hostility or annoyance to or about a person, place of thing. No matter how one describes anger, it really is a bummer to one’s overall psyche and health. It’s a waiting death trap, and there’s no rational good that can come out of anyone’s unrestrained emotions, unwarranted hostilities and uninhibited annoyances, especially when these perils only work as risky outlets in destroying one’s inner abilities to control the self.

Medical authorities today state in so many numerous and venerable terms that anger can increase your heart rate and stroke risk. Anger can also weaken your immune system, so we really need to take a good look at what’s happening to our minds, bodies and souls when we allow anger to run rampant throughout our anatomies.

On a more interpersonal level, anger can wreck a relationship in a heartbeat if you aren’t wise to some of anger’s ill effects. Being and living in a hostile world of existence can hurt your lungs too because researchers theorized that rage causes an uptick in stress hormones, which are associated with feelings of anger, causing inflammation in the airways.

If that wasn’t bad enough, it’s said that if you’re already anxious, possessing uncontrolled anger can only make it worse. Leading health care officials also state that anger is linked to depression, and it will undoubtedly  shorten one’s life, if not brought under control. Constantly being uptight and losing your cool over the slightest mishap is surely no way to live as a healthy living “hue-man” soul. Sadly, if  we look all around us, we invariably see far too many uptight and high-strung souls who are the personifications of unwarranted anger and who are potentially “ticking time bombs,” getting ready to explode or go off at any moment for no visible reasons.

Thank God nothing occurred to the negative at the traffic stop incident where I was last week. But it still was a sign to me so I want to leave you with some quotes to think about the next time anger rears its ugly head around you. Every occurrence in life is a teaching seminar if you look closely at it.

Please take heed of them because they could help you, and others, manage anger. Lao Tzu said, “The best fighter is never angry.” Bohdi Sanders once uttered,”Never respond to to an angry person with a fiery comeback, even if he deserves it…Don’t allow his anger to be your anger.”

 In closing for today, I offer two more familiar sound quotes to always keep in mind. Ambrose Bierce said,”Speak when you are angry and you will make a speech that you will ever regret,” and finally Gautama Buddha related,”Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the only who gets burned.”

In closing my vibes for today, I’ll reference Chief Red Eagle, who said, “Angry people want you to see how powerful they are…loving people want you to see how powerful YOU are.” So, please think before you react to any unexpected situation. Be wise and stay calm when anger approaches. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”



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