Keep a lid on it

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2 years ago

"The strong one is not he who can throw his opponent down in a fight, but he who can exercise self restraint when angry"

The incident I witnessed while returning home a couple of hours ago made me remember the saying above which I have quoted in a previous article about the need to avoid anger irrespective of the circumstances or provocation. While in a bus on my way home, a scene caught the attention of everyone in the vehicle which I boarded.

The scene involved two vehicles, one was a private vehicle specifically a sports utility vehicle (SUV) while the other was a commercial bus popularly called "tuke tuke". The driver of the SUV parked his vehicle a little distance from the commercial bus. He had alighted and was walking rather calmly towards the commercial bus. Although we were not privy to what had transpired before we encountered them, the general notion was that both vehicles must have had some sort of contact which from our estimation wasn't so serious as there was no visible damage from where we were observing.

What caught our attention was the agressive behaviour of a young man probably in his late thirties or early forties who we assumed to be the driver of the commercial bus. He was gesticulating in a threatening manner towards the driver of the SUV as he approached. In the midst of all this chaos an older man was trying to calm the angry young man down and restrain him from going further towards the driver of the SUV. What happened next shocked and angered all the occupants of our vehicle. The young man struck the old man trying to calm things down with such a punch that the man collapsed to the floor like someone who had suddenly lost consciousness. There was no immediate sign of him attempting to recover from the fall suggesting that he had been knocked unconscious by the blow. What was further alarming was that what the young man had just done didn't seem to jolt him to calm himself before he did further damage. One passenger remarked that instead of just being a case of fixing the vehicle due to the little accident , the young man would also have to contend with taking care of medical expenses of the man he had struck down that if his blow did not turn out to be a fatal one. In his fit of rage the young man had indeed gone mad and would surely regret and bear the consequences of his actions. How the scene eventually played out I cannot tell. A dramatic twist to the tale would surely ensue if the driver of the SUV turned out to be a military officer who was taking a drive while in civilian clothing. You can imagine how things would turn out.

This bring me to another scene weeks earlier when I went to effect repairs on my faulty device. Upon arrival at the repair centre, I observed that the place was unusually nosiy and rowdy. While proceeding to the shop where I would get service I heard the voice of one of the guys who seemed to be leader of sorts in the complex announcing like a town crier that all shops should be closed. I would get to know the reason for this while my phone was being worked on.

Another shop owner came in and narrated what had transpired the previous day. He informed us that one shop owner had foolishly assalted a military officer in uniform the previous day probably also in a fit of rage. Shockingly there was no immediate reaction from the military officer .This should have caused the erring shop owner to calm down and consider the consequences of his actions because everyone understood that there would certainly be a reprisal for assaulting a military officer talkless of one in uniform.

Other shop owners had warned him that there would be consequences for his actions but he called their bluff. He narrated that prior to my arrival the assaulted officer returned with reinforcements who dealt with any one who dared to stand in their way on their quest for retribution. Unfortunately, the culprit from the previous day had not arrived at his shop and the military officers ended up picking up another shop owner and whisking him away apparently for their visit not to have been a fruitless one. Other shop owners were pained that an innocent shop owner had to pay for the misdeeds of another particularly because they had cautioned the erring shop owner who refused to put his temper in check.

The consequences of the anger in the narrations above reminded me of a video about the consequences of anger. The video opened with a guy shaking two bottles of carbonated drinks vigorously and thereafter placing both of them on a table. He quickly opened one of them and its content gushed forth violently while he left the cork in place for the other. After some time the contents of the unopened bottle settled and if opened at that point, the contents wouldn't certainly gush out.

He explained that the gushing forth of the former agitated bottle can be likened to what happens when one is unable to restrain oneself when angry. The contents of the bottle gushing forth were likened to words said and actions done when overtaken by fits of rage. They cannot be undone most of the time just as the spilled contents of the bottle cannot be recovered.

The moral in these narrations is to always strive to keep one's anger and emotions under control to avoid doing damage one may not be able to repair. It is not an easy thing to do but the rewards or benefits for being able to achieve it are worth it as untamed anger brings nothing but sorrow and regret.

My parting shot is this:

When angry or provoked, stay quiet and keep calm. If possible, walk away.








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Written by
2 years ago