A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Anger

A harsh word is like unto a sword, but gentle speech is like unto milk. The children of the world attain to knowledge and better themselves through this.
(Compilations, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 132)


As a devoted believer you are urged to strive to develop forgiveness in your heart toward your parents who have abused you in so disgraceful a manner, and to attain a level of insight which sees them as captives of their lower nature, whose actions can only lead them deeper into unhappiness and separation from God. By this means, you can liberate yourself from the anger to which you refer in your letter, and foster your own spiritual development.
(The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Dec 02, Child Abuse, Psychology and Knowledge of Self)


Be not the slave of your moods, but their master. But if you are so angry, so depressed and so sore that your spirit cannot find deliverance and peace even in prayer, then quickly go and give some pleasure to someone lowly or sorrowful, or to a guilty or innocent sufferer! Sacrifice yourself, your talent, your time, your rest to another, to one who has to bear a heavier load than you.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, source unknown)


Count annoyance and hostility as the torment of hell-fire.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World, p. 356)



For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of desire, of anger, and of temper.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 320)


If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 215)


In view of this fundamental unity and agreement of all phenomenal life, why should man in his kingdom of existence wage war or indulge in hostility and destructive strife against his fellowman?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 350)


Jealousy consumeth the body and anger doth burn the liver: avoid these two as you would a lion.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 460)


Now vengeance, according to reason, is also blameworthy, because through vengeance no good result is gained by the avenger. So if a man strikes another, and he who is struck takes revenge by returning the blow, what advantage will he gain? Will this be a balm for his wound or a remedy for his pain? No, God forbid! In truth the two actions are the same: both are injuries; the only difference is that one occurred first, and the other afterward. Therefore, if he who is struck forgives, nay, if he acts in a manner contrary to that which has been used toward him, this is laudable. The law of the community will punish the aggressor but will not take revenge. This punishment has for its end to warn, to protect and to oppose cruelty and transgression so that other men may not be tyrannical. But if he who has been struck pardons and forgives, he shows the greatest mercy. This is worthy of admiration.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 267)


One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked
his grandfather:
"Which wolf wins?..."
The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one that you feed”
(The Nanticoke Indian Tribe, http://www.nanticokeindians.org/tale_of_two_wolves.cfm )


The individual must be educated to such a high degree that he would rather have his throat cut than tell a lie, and would think it easier to be slashed with a sword or pierced with a spear than to utter calumny or be carried away by wrath. Thus will be kindled the sense of human dignity and pride, to burn away the reapings of lustful appetites. Then will each one of God’s beloved shine out as a bright moon with qualities of the spirit, and the relationship of each to the Sacred Threshold of his Lord will be not illusory but sound and real, will be as the very foundation of the building, not some embellishment on its facade.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 136-137)


The prospect of a believer’s displaying an attitude of hostility, when being interviewed by a Spiritual Assembly or its representatives who are seeking to determine the facts of a matter, is abhorrent. All believers are strongly enjoined to have the utmost respect for the Assemblies, to cooperate fully with them, and to support their decisions.
(National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, Developing Distinctive Bahá’í Communities, Section 4.11).


Well is it with the king who keepeth a tight hold on the reins of his passion, restraineth his anger and preferreth justice and fairness to injustice and tyranny.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 65)


You also ask what one should do to ‘handle depression and anger with someone’ one feels ‘very positively about‘. The Universal House of Justice suggests that you call to mind the admonitions found in our writings on the need to overlook the shortcomings of others, to forgive and conceal their misdeeds, not to expose their bad qualities, but to search for and affirm their praiseworthy ones, and endeavour to be always forbearing, patient, and merciful. Such passages as the following extract from one of the letter written on behalf of the beloved Guardian by his secretary will also be helpful: Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurably far from being “perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect: and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our will-power and energy... On no subject are the Bahá’í teachings more emphatic that on the necessity to abstain from fault-finding, while being ever eager to discover and root out our own faults and overcome our own failings.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 90-91)


You ask in your letter for guidance on the implications of the prohibitions on backbiting and more specifically whether, in moments of anger or depression, the believer is permitted to turn to his friends to unburden his soul and discuss his problem in human relations. Normally, it is possible to describe the situation surrounding a problem and seek help and advice in resolving it, without necessarily mentioning names. The individual believer should seek to do this, whether he is consulting a friend, Bahá’í or non-Bahá’í, or whether the friend is consulting him.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 90)


You ask how to deal with anger. The House of Justice suggests that you call to mind the admonitions found in our Writings on the need to overlook the shortcomings of others; to forgive and conceal their misdeeds, not to expose their bad qualities, but to search for and affirm their praiseworthy ones, and to endeavour to be always forbearing, patient, and merciful. Such passages as the following extracts from letters written on behalf of the beloved Guardian will be helpful: There are qualities in everyone which we can appreciate and admire, and for which we can love them; and perhaps, if you determine to think only of these qualities which your husband possesses, this will help to improve the situation .... You should turn your thoughts away from the things which upset you, and constantly pray to Bahá’u’lláh to help you. Then you will find how that pure love, enkindled by God, which burns in the soul when we read and study the Teachings, will warm and heal, more than anything else.
(Universal House of Justice, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 454-455)


...anger [is] very prejudicial to health.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 107)


...think ye of hostility and hatred as the torments of hell.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 243-246)