The boy stood there raging. His friends had called him a “loser.” And how dare they!!! He was so much better than them at many things, but no one ever saw that. The minute they bettered him at some game, they immediately declared him a “loser.” And. He. Was. Not. A. Loser. The boy lunged at his friends.
As he trudged back home after the fight, the boy wondered what he would tell his mother. She was always going on about how he should choose his fights, fight with words, calm down, and so on and so forth. His father had told him to “relax,” not to take the other kids as seriously, that they were only playing with his anger.
But neither his mother, nor his father, knew how he really felt. How could they? Feelings are personal, and no one can feel another person’s emotions. Sometimes, he saw his mother getting angry, on his behalf. But that was still her personal anger, and not his. Besides, it took a while for her to calm her own anger. The difference between him and his mother was that while she hid her anger, he displayed his.
After he had duly informed his mother about the recent display of his fighting powers, and received a lecture on the importance of managing emotions, the boy sat down heavily to complete his homework. But try as much as he wanted to, he was not able to focus on his work. The words kept coming back, and his anger kept coming back.
He shut his book, and switched on the TV to watch a game. He loved to play and watch sports. But what kept him glued to the matches, was not the scores, or who won the games. It was the emotions that were displayed.
The boy loved to watch the fierce look on the players faces. He was amazed at the intense power that went into every shot, every throw, and every run. He liked the thumping fists, the cheering crowds, and the raw aggression on the sports field. It was like high charges of current moving through everyone for a few hours.
What the boy liked about sports was its raw energy.
“Anger is an energy,” his mother kept saying. “Everything depends on how we use it.”
As the boy watched the match, remembering his mother’s words, he realised that his own anger was a power. And if he used it in the right way, his anger would be his super-power!
Anger can consume us, because of the intense energy that it emanates. Most often, we look at anger as a destructive force. But how many times have we looked at “destruction” itself?
Destruction is not always bad, and we all know that destruction is necessary to make way for construction, a new beginning, a brighter day, a better life. We could destroy anything from a house to an attitude. And anger, when channelized in the right direction, can lead us towards the better things that we have always wanted out of life.
Most of the world looks at Gandhi as a man of peace. Very few equate him with an angry young man, who boiled with rage at being thrown out of a train because of his colour. Gandhi became a Mahatma because he developed the ability to channelize his anger in the right direction.
The ability to understand ourselves is the greatest power of them all.
Here’s to acknowledging our super-powers!