Anger Can Be Contagious

July 30, 2009

In his autobiography, Number 1, Billy Martin told about hunting in Texas with Mickey Mantle.

Mickey had a friend who would let them hunt on his ranch. When they reached the ranch, Mickey told Billy to wait in the car while he checked in with his friend. Mantle’s friend quickly gave them permission to hunt, but he asked Mickey a favor. He had a pet mule in the barn who was going blind, and he didn’t have the heart to put him out of his misery. He asked Mickey to shoot the mule for him.

When Mickey came back to the car, he pretended to be angry. He scowled and slammed the door. Billy asked him what was wrong, and Mickey said his friend wouldn’t let them hunt. “I’m so mad at that guy,” Mantle said, “I’m going out to his barn and shoot one of his mules!” Mantle drove like a maniac to the barn. Martin protested, “We can’t do that!” But Mickey was adamant. “Just watch me,” he shouted.

When they got to the barn, Mantle jumped out of the car with his rifle, ran inside, and shot the mule. As he was leaving, though, he heard two shots, and he ran back to the car. He saw that Martin had taken out his rifle, too. “What are you doing, Martin?” he yelled. Martin yelled back, face red with anger, “We’ll show that son of a gun! I just killed two of his cows!”

Oh no! Anger can be dangerously contagious.

As Proverbs 22:24-25 puts it, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man… or you may learn his ways” (Prov.). [1]

Let me tell you another story. This time it’s a confession from a man who understands the destructive power of anger.

This wise person says:

I went to the store the other day, and I was in there for only about 5 minutes.

When I came out there was a motorcycle cop writing a parking ticket.

So I went up to him and said, “Come on, buddy, how about giving a guy a break?”

He ignored me and continued writing the ticket.

So I called him a pencil-necked Nazi.

He glared at me and started writing another ticket for worn tires!

So I called him a piece of horse manure.

He finished the second ticket and put it on the windshield with the first. Then he started writing a third ticket!

This went on for about 20 minutes… the more I abused him, the more tickets he wrote.

I didn’t care. My car was parked around the corner.

I try to have a little fun each day. It’s important.

That’s how destructive anger could be.

RABBI BERNARD S. RASKAS says: “Often we are caught in the snare of the old adage that we must fight fire with fire. We retaliate against hate with hate, and we answer anger with auger. All we really succeed in doing is magnifying the problem, for by increasing a fire all we simply do is intensify the heat.

The true way to extinguish a fire is with cool water. Likewise, the effective way to quench a quarrel is with cooling and soothing words. Most arguments are rooted in irrational hate; before reason can be applied to relationships, hate must be dispelled. This can only be done when the voice is soft, the temper is low, and the regard for others is gentle. The real antidote to anger is, obviously, pleasantness. [2]

When we give others a “piece of our mind,” we have no “peace of mind” left.

Better to consider peace and patience rather than risk being a patient one day.

Always remember. Anger is only one letter away from danger.

[1] Scott Bowerman, Bishopville, South Carolina. Leadership, Vol. 16, no. 1.

[2] Heat of Wisdom

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Michelle

    Really true, something we all must painfully learn……

  2. Paul Garilao

    I like the design of your new website, Francis. Keep inspiring the young people

  3. Roland Abuan

    Thanks bro!

    Indeed, Anger can ruin so many things in a snap…

    Thanks+Best regards

  4. Kerwin Torregrosa

    Anger one letter away from Danger true indeed!

  5. jorgeth

    Hi Sir Francis, I really enjoyed reading your article. Currently, I’m reading your book ” Only the Real Matters” and indeed, I learned so many lessons which help me to become closer to God. Thank you so much. God bless you.

  6. Ani

    I am an angry person. I don’t know why, but I am always angry. I realized this when I turned 30, now I’m 31. I’ve apologized to the most important people in my life for being angry. For not having patience, for shouting, for the burst of emotions. It still doesn’t feel right. Forgiving oneself is harder… I am staying with my brother, who is also an angry person. I am hoping and praying that both of us will learn not to be angry anymore. That I learn from him how to be patient and he from me…

  7. ramil joaquin

    I beg to agree! Nice article, I’ve watched you a moment ago on “Umagang kay Ganda”.

  8. cynthia

    Sir Francis…..thank you for all your inspiring blogs…it helps me a lot to realize the laws of life…more power to you……………

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