Table of Contents

  • Global Peace: Seven Social Sins That Lead to Violence
  • Inner Peace: One of the Greatest Healers
  • Parenting: Awakening Empathy in Children
  • Interpersonal Relationship: The Catching Eyes Game
  • Character Building: Set Your Ethical Compass
  • Peace Making: What Children Can Do to Make a Difference
  • Ecology: Six Principles of Ecological Shopping
  • Politics: Practicing Holistic Business and Politics
  • Inner Peace: How to Cope with Anxiety
  • Ecology: Two Environmental Myths
  • Environment: How to Keept Out Insects or Pests
  • Health: Celebrities for Vegetarianism
  • Creativity: How to Brainstorm
  • Resources: Peace Quotes
  • Ecology: Four Steps to Effective Eco-Action
  • Health: Beware of That Personal Stereo
  • Resources: Notable Books
  • Relaxation: Progressive Relaxation
  • Meaningful Life: Finding Meaningful Work
  • Inner Peace: Two Ways of Deflating Anger


Seven Social Sins That Lead to Violence

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Knowledge without character
Commerce without morality
Science without humanity
Worship without sacrifice
Politics without principles

Source: Nonviolent Action, NACC, 4554 12th Ave. NE, Seattle, Washington 98105, U.S.A.

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One of the Greatest Healers

One of the greatest healers in the world, says Dr. Susan Smith Jones, is forgiveness.

“Let go of anger over what happened to you as a child. You can achieve any goal you wish when you let go of blame and move onward and upward in your life. Let go of any tally of wrongs done to you by your parents or other people. Release the past so that you can wake up every morning feeling free and unchained. Live in the present moment and think positive thoughts about your life. Even in the most difficult of times you can always find something to be grateful about.”

Susan Smith Jones, Choose to Live Each Day Fully, Celestial Arts Publishing, P.O. Box 7123, Berkeley, CA 94707, U.S.A.

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Awakening Empathy in Children

There is evidence that empathy is natural in children. It is found even during infancy stages. As children grow up, however, this is lost due to the family environment. A series of studies at the National Institute of Mental Health by Marian Radke-Yarrow and Carolyn Zahn-Waxler have shown that the way parents discipline their children has got a lot to do to nurture the empathic concern of children. The researchers found that:

Children develop more empathy when the discipline called attention to the distress they caused someone else: Look how sad you’ve made her feel instead of That was naughty.
Empathy is shaped in children by seeing how others react when someone else is distressed.
By imitating what they see, children develop a set of empathic response, especially in helping other people who are distressed.
Source: Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036, U.S.A.

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The Catching Eyes Game

Here is a curious game that you may wish to experiment with that will teach children the friendly art of direct eye contact.

When you go out with your children to a public place, challenge them to a contest to see who can “catch the most eyes.” They must look at someone, a stranger, until they glance back, then smile as you catch their eye.

Count the ones who smile back and the ones who don’t. The “smile-backers” are worth two points, while the “glance but don’t smile” people are worth one point.

When author Richard Eyre tried this with their children, the kids counted more than a hundred points each. One of the children observed: “It’s amazing how many people just look away the minute you catch their eye.” And another said: “Yes, and they’re not near as fun as the ones who look back at you and smile. I think those are the happy ones.”

Source: Linda and Richard Eyre, Teaching Your Children Values. Simon & Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY, U.S.A.

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Set Your Ethical Compass

When you face a dilemma that you are not prepared for, there is a strong pressure to solve it in the most convenient way, even if that solution is unethical or harmful in the long run. It can be a simple circumstance such as having to turn down an appointment and you find that you have to lie in order to get away from it. When the lie is discovered, you may lose a friend or earn the distrust of an acquaintance. The result is worse than telling the truth.

It is important therefore to be able to define one’s ethical principles so that it will come in handy when we are faced with a crisis.

Best-selling author Robert Ringer emphasizes this in his book The 10 Habits of Highly Successful People:

“It’s imperative to understand that for any strategy or plan of action to be sound, it must begin with a solid moral foundation. Without such a foundation, anything a person tries to build is destined to crumble. The bad effect of a bad cause may not show up immediately, but you can be certain that ultimately it will make its appearance.”

He therefore suggests that we should develop “a clear set of values that predetermines your day-to-day behavior. You need to know what you believe in ahead of time in order to understand why you should do things a certain way. What do you believe is ethical? What do you believe is unethical?”

What are the consequences of failure to clarify these principles? “If you don’t formulate your moral beliefs ahead of time, your actions may inadvertently be based on spur-of-the-moment whims, on emotion, or on immediate gratification. In other words, you’re likely to revise your ethical standards to fit each new situation as it arises, a practice commonly referred to as `situational ethics.’ An individual who engages in situational ethics is someone who does not possess a fixed standard of right and wrong. Right is simply whatever he perceives to be in his immediate best interest at any given time, which is a foolproof formula for failure. It’s imperative that you decide on a clear, concise set of moral values while your intellect is in control.”

Source: Robert Ringer, The 10 Habits of Highly Successful People (originally published as Million Dollar Habits). Advantage Quest Sdn. Bhd. 9A Jalan SS26/6, Tman Mayang Jaya, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

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What Children Can Do
to Make a Difference

Below are suggestions to children to become peacemakers. It is prepared by MEND or Mothers Embracing Nuclear Disarmament.

Ask yourself: “What can I do to make peace in my family or at school? Are there ways I can solve problems better with my brothers and sisters or with friends?”
Demonstrate good sportsmanship. Promote cooperative rather than competitive games.
Learn about the variety of cultures in this country – and around the world. Become a pen pal.
Read or tell stories that illustrate themes of cooperation, respect for others, and peaceful conflict resolution. Talk about these stories; draw, paint or sculpt something to illustrate these ideas.
Ask for assembly speakers or school programs related to peace or international friendship and understanding.
Do study projects at school related to the concept of peace.
Work on peace-related programs and projects within your school, church or community.
Become informed. Read newspapers, magazines,, and book, watch TV programs that discuss current events and the past. Talk about these events with you r parents, teachers, clergy and friends.
Write to elected officials and local and national newspapers to express your feelings.
Get involved and work for a peace organization.
Source: Richard Zimmerman, What Can I Do to Make A Difference? A Plume Book, Penguin Books U.S.A. Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

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Six Principles of Ecological Shopping

Use products that don’t endanger your and others’ health.
Avoid products or services that:
consume disproportionate amounts of energy, (such as incandescent bulbs, electric can operators, etc.)
generate unnecessary waste (such as fast-food packaging)
are using materials from threatened environments or species (such as mahogany or redwood);
cause harm to animals (such as furs or ivory)
Find or create ecologically sound alternatives to petroleum-based packaging and household products.
Buy only what you need.
Remember at all times that, as a consumer, you have real power to bring about change

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. You can vote with your purchasing power as well as your ballot.
Source: Jon Naar, Design for a Livable Planet. Harper & Row, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY, 10022, U.S.A.

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Lessons on Radio

Listen to the Peace Center’s weekly radio program, “Golden Lessons in Living” (Mga Gintong Aral ng Buhay) every Saturday evening, from 6 to 7 p.m. at DWAT, 774khz AM band. The outlines of the topic may be obtained free by writing to: Peace Center, Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines. Tel. No. 741-5740; Fax No. 922-6337.

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Did you know?

Each year Americans throw away

2 billion razors
220 million tires
30 billion tin cans
2.5 billion batteries
50 million tons of paper
80 million auto batteries
25 billion styrofoam cups
18 billion disposable diapers
35 billion tons of yard waste
J. Elkington, J. Hailes, J. Makower, The Green Consumer. Quoted in Richard Zimmerman, What Can I Do to Make A Difference? A Plume Book, Penguin Books U.S.A. Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

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Practicing Holistic
Business and Politics

Solving today’s complex problems requires holistic vision, says Diane Dreher in her the Tao of Peace. “But some people cannot see that far. [They] are caught up in the old fragmented vision, unaware of the consequences of their actions.” We must take responsibility to take extra efforts in balancing the damage that our own actions may be inflicting. Here are examples:

Realizing that the production of their books depletes the environment, New Society Publishers initiated a “green tax,” asking customers to offset environmental costs. Half the money goes for local environmental restoration, the other half for environmental education. Other socially responsible companies have recently added the “green tax” to their business plans.
Builders in California’s Santa Clara Valley are combining new homes with fruit trees in an innovative project called Lee’s Orchard.
Source: Diane Dreher, The Tao of Peace. Donald I. Fine, Inc., New York, U.S.A.

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How to Cope with Anxiety

Anxiety is the tendency to worry about unspecified things. It is a diffuse, free-floating dread. It is very hard to confront it in this form; it surrounds us like a fog and seems to offer no target for attack or action.

It can cause shortness of breath, heart trouble, sweating, fidgeting, headache, stomach upset, and a sense of intense helplessness.

Underneath the specific fears that can mark general anxiety lies a deeper fear about our place in the world.

Here are some suggestions from Dr. Chopra’s How to Solve Your Personal Problems:

Ask, what is it about you that makes you worry about your place in the world? How do you see yourself in this life?
You must admit the repressed feelings that you fear. Follow your anxious thoughts and identify them. Accept them as part of your internal experience. You don’t have to act on them.
Do not pretend that you don’t have strong feelings. It ties up your energy in trying to suppress feelings. For example, if you pretend that you are never angered, you won’t be prepared for the inevitable, normal anger when they occur.
Look whether your anxiety comes from a deep sense of being adrift in life, without meaningful connections.
Take inventory of yourself. Who are you? What really matters to you?
Take a good look at your current relationships. Are they working or are they empty, lifeless, formal – without emotional or spiritual substance?
Learn the difference between a genuine danger that requires alertness, and paralyzing anxiety that causes fog.
Do not magnify dangers out of proportion.
Do regular exercise. It reduces anxiety.
Learn to relax your mind.
Source: Dr. S.C. Chopra, How to Solve Your Personal Problems. S.S. Mubaruk & Brothers Pte. Ltd. 2 Kallarg Avenue, 02-07 Kallang Bahru Complex, Singapore

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Two Environmental Myths

Here are two commonly held beliefs on environment which are untrue, according to Lou Gold of the Siskiyou Regional Education Project in Portland, Oregon:

Myth #1: Forests are renewable resources. This is true for pulp and cheap wood fiber, but not the valuable wood with clear, dense vertical grain. The latter is the product of old-growth forests, which take hundreds of years to develop.

Myth #2: That there is a conflict between economy and ecology; that is, that when wild forests are protected, there is a corresponding loss of job. In the long run, the contrary is true: environmental diversity will create economic diversity, and a stable healthy economy will be produced only by a healthy ecology.

Source: Jon Naar, Design for a Livable Planet. Harper & Row, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY, 10022, U.S.A.

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How to Keep Out
Insects or Pests

Here are non-toxic ways to keep out insects from your home:

Ants sprinkle red chili powder, borax, or dried peppermint where you see them coming in. Plant mint by the back and front doors of your house to help keep them out.

Beetles and Weevils Put a bag leaf in each container where you store flour and other grain products.

Cockroaches Mix equal parts of baking soda and powdered sugar, and spread it around the infested area. They can also be controlled with common boric acid powder sprinkled around baseboards, under sinks, etc. Do not use in places accessible to children and pets. Garlic is another natural pest-repellent; you can grow it in your garden to keep harmful bugs away or mix it in your blender with a mild soapy liquid and use as a spray.

Fleas Feed your pets nutritional or brewer’s yeast. The vitamin B supposedly makes them immune. Dips and sprays containing delimonine gas derived from citrus extracts safely repel fleas and other pests, as do spray repellents from cedar wood, eucalyptus and bay leaves.

Flies Hang clusters of cloves in your rooms. Leave crushed orange or lemon skins in strategic places; the citrus oil repels flies and other insects.

Mosquitoes Burn oil of citronella rings. Grow garlic, marigolds, and any flowers that attract birds who eat mosquitoes. Spray with pyrethrin. Don’t use electronic zappers; they attract and kill beneficial insects but not mosquitoes.

Rats The best is still the cat. Don’t leave food in the open. Stuff up their entry holes with steel wool. Use mechanical traps, but beware of poisoned bait. One of the most effective nontoxic safeguards against rats is still the cat.

Source: Jon Naar, Design for a Livable Planet. Harper & Row, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY, 10022, U.S.A.

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Celebrities for Vegetarianism

Many well known people have espoused a vegetarian way of life. Here are what some of them say:

Paul and Linda McCartney: “We won’t eat anything that has to be killed for us. We’ve been through a lot and we’ve reached a stage where we really value life.”

Natalie Merchant: “If you can’t conceive of beating an animal, you shouldn’t conceive of eating an animal.”

Dennis Weaver: “There are many reasons . . . everything from spiritual reasons to saving the environment. But the reason that should appeal to everyone is health. Without it there is little chance of happiness.”

The list of famous vegetarians is long. Here are some of them:

Michael Jackson
Carole King
Candice Bergen
Carol Burnett
Susan St. James
Belinda Carlisle

Source: Richard Zimmerman, What Can I Do to Make A Difference? A Plume Book, Penguin Books U.S.A. Inc., 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014, U.S.A.

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How to Brainstorm

Brainstorming is the rapid generation of solution ideas without evaluating their merits. It is usually done by a group of people who shoot out possible ideas and somebody just lists them as they come. In brainstorming, you try to get quantity, not quality, of ideas. Many of the ideas will later be sorted out and excluded. But during the brainstorming session itself, no screening is done, even the ridiculous ones. Many seemingly insoluble problems have often found their solutions through this method.

Here are a few guidelines to brainstorming as suggested by Dr. Robert Bolton in his book, People Skills.

Don’t evaluate. Nobody says “No,” “That will never work,” “That is a dumb idea,” “That will cost too much,” “That has already been tried,” “That’s a terrific idea.” Note that even positive evaluations should not be done.

Don’t clarify or seek clarification. Explanatory remarks interfere with the rapid and creative generation of possible solutions. When someone says “The reason I want to post notice on doors is.. . ,” the ideas often slow down.

Go for zany ideas. A far-out idea may seem nonsensical but it may provide, in seed form, the solution that is finally adopted. Zany ideas can also relax the group and encourage creativity.

Expand on each other’s ideas.
List every idea. Listing is just recording, without any editing or censoring.

Avoid attaching people’s names to the ideas. Brainstorming is a group effort, and focusing on who gave the words is dysfunctional.

Source: People Skills by Robert Bolton, Ph.D. Simon & Schuster Australia, 20 Barcoo Street, East Roseville NSW 2069, Australia.

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Peace Quotes

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Fashion shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
In Defense of Animals

The finger pulls the trigger, but the trigger may also be pulling the finger.

Cowardice, mother of cruelty.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face . . . You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.

To fight and conquer in all our battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.

What is hateful to thyself do not do to another. This is the whole Law, the rest is Commentary.
(Jewish rabbi who died 9 A.D.)

Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it.

If once the people become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I and Congress and assemblies, judges and governors, shall all become wolves.

It is the duty . . .
. . . of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others’ religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world’s religions is a sacred duty.

There never was a war . . .
. . . that was not inward; I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war.

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Four Steps to Effective Eco-Action

Here are key steps in initiating action to protect the environment:

1. Get the Facts. Gather information by, first, looking for signs of pollution around you, including unexplained ailments. Second, connect the symptoms with the causes, such as foul-tasting water in the area. Third, keep a diary or notes, including photographic evidences. Fourth, start locally and then diversify your sources of information. Then compare your findings with others.

2.Join Forces with Others. It makes your voice count for more. You can team up with local and national organizations that are concerned with the same issue.

3. Use the Law to Effect Change. Laws are usually already in existence in connection with the issue you are concerned with. It is the poor implementation that is the problem. Undertake a research on what laws are applicable to the issue.

4. Take Action. Establish a common goal with other concerned people. Form a coalition or organization. Clarify how the program will be funded – either from membership due, fund-raising, etc. Develop a plan of action. Plan your launching well. Use the media.

Source: Jon Naar, Design for a Livable Planet. Harper & Row, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY, 10022, U.S.A.

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Beware of That Personal Stereo

Many kids today are fond of listening to music with a portable stereo unit with a headphone or earplug. In 1990, the National Deaf Children’s Society tested all the personal stereos sold in Britain and found that every one of them could produce 90 decibels of sound, the equivalent to the noise of a pneumatic drill. This is dangerous to children’s ears, as sounds entering are condensed into a much smaller and more delicate ear canal. When the ears of children are impaired, the need to turn the sounds louder, causing more damage to the ear.

Source: Bernadette Vallely, 1,001 Ways to Save the Planet. Ivy Books, Random House, Inc., New York, NY, U.S.A.

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Notable Books

PEOPLE SKILLS by Robert Bolton, Ph.D. Simon & Schuster Australia, 20 Barcoo Street, East Roseville NSW 2069, Australia.

A useful handbook in developing skills for dealing with people and improving communication ability. Lack of skill in these areas is a major source of conflict among individuals and groups. The book covers such skills as listening, assertiveness, resolving conflicts, reading body language, handling emotional components of conflict, essentials of effective communication, etc.

You may also order this book from The Conflict Resolution Network, P.O. Box 1016, Chatswood NSW 2057, Australia.

WHEN ELEPHANTS WEEP by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan McCarthy. Delacorte Press, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036, U.S.A.

This is a major work that further validates the emotional lives of animals something many of us know but which remain unrecognized by science because of lack of hard evidence. It is filled with examples such as Michael, a gorilla who cannot be disturbed whenever Pavarotti sings on television, and Toto, the chimpanzee who nursed his malaria-stricken human observer back to health.

Well-known author Jane Goodall writes: This is not only an important book, it’s marvelous! If animals could read they would be filled with joy and gratitude to the authors as I am. It is scholarly, vivid, and compelling. Please read it.

TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN SENSITIVITY by Linda and Richard Eyre. Fireside Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc. 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.

Practical ideas and suggestions on how to develop sensitivity and compassion among children and young people. Linda and Richard Eyre are the authors of the best-selling book Teaching Your Children Values. They are the founders of an international co-op called Homebase and have developed programs for nurturing young people to a well-rounded and mature life.

THE JOY OF SECTS: A SPIRITED GUIDE TO THE WORLD’S RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS by Peter Occhiogrosso. Doubleday, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036, U.S.A.

A delightful guide to the world’s religions, including the New Age and other spiritual movements of modern times. Each section ends with a glossary of terms and names that are significant to the subject. Booklist writes: Comparative religion can be dry but not the way Occhiogrosso writes it. Not only is this fat book comprehensive, it’s lively, and perhaps best of all, easy to understand. An excellent resource.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE by Daniel Goleman. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036, U.S.A.

This book is a milestone in human self-understanding. Psychologists have traditionally used IQ or Intelligence Quotient as a measure of superiority or ability. Now this book demonstrates that numerous researches show that emotional intelligence (a new word for character actually) is more important than IQ. People who are successful and more fulfilled in life fare better in emotional intelligence, even if they are not outstanding in IQ.

This book contains summaries of scientific researches in a lively manner. It is a valuable resource book for those who are in education, psychology, and anyone engaged in human and social transformation.

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Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation, although an old technique, was first formalized in 1908 by Edmund Jacobson and is based on the principle that a muscle will become more relaxed after it is first tensed. The technique takes practice to master. After regular practice, most people find they can relax their body quickly. Here is an outline as outline by R. Z. Peurifoy:

Find privacy and sit in a comfortable position.
Close your eyes and breath in a relaxed manner while you scan your body and notice how your muscles feel. Identify the parts that are tense.
Tense and relax one muscle group at a time. Begin with the feet and slowly work your way up to your head and face. Before moving from one muscle group to the next, do a complete breathing cycle – breathing in and out in a relaxed manner. Use moderation in tightening and relaxing, especially the neck and back muscles where excessive tightening may result in strain or injury.
The more difficult it is for you to relax, the more you need to take additional time and work with smaller groups of muscles. For example, tighten and relax the toes on the left foot first, then the right foot.
After doing this exercise for your entire body, stop for a moment to feel how much more relaxed you are than when you began. Identify those areas where tension remains.
Source: Reneau z. Peurifoy, Anxiety, Phobias and Panic. Warner Books Inc. 1271 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020, U.S.A.

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Finding Meaningful Work

What is the difference between a work and a job?

A job only pays for the rent. But your life work feels worth doing. It is meaningful, whether it makes money or not.

Now what makes work meaningful?

Here are guidelines from Barbara Sher’s I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was:

Do something that you love
Do something worth doing
In the end, the two are the same thing.

Without an activity that really matters to you, you’re going to feel empty, even if you’ve set yourself up in Paradise and are living the life of the rich and famous. If you’re not involved in something you truly care about, anyplace can seem like a prison.

Personal meaning connects your deepest gifts with the rest of the world. Whether you turn out to be a gardener or a builder, a filmmaker or a doctor – when you’re doing the right work you will feel connected, both to your soul and to the world outside you. A gardener feels he’s creating beauty and has reverence for nature. A builder or filmmaker feels she’s using her best abilities to create something to delight the world. A doctor feels he’s using his best skills and brains to heal people.

Source: Barbara Sher, with Barbara Smith, I Could Do Anything, If I Only Know What It Was. Dell Trade Paperback, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY, U.S.A.

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Two Ways of Deflating Anger

Anger causes people to act in ways that they may later regret. It is important therefore for individuals to learn how to deflate anger before it reaches a state of rage, during which the person can no longer think straight. Deflating anger does not mean suppressing it.

Dr. Dolf Zillmann, a psychologist of the University of Alabama, has undertaken extensive research about the origin and control of anger. He suggests two approaches to the deflation of anger, as summarized in Daniel Goleman’s outstanding book, Emotional Intelligence:

Challenge the thoughts that trigger the anger. These are the thoughts that appraised the situation and which encourage the first bursts of anger, and the subsequent reappraisals that fan the flames of anger. Anger can be completely short-circuited if the mitigating or neutralizing information comes before the anger is acted on. For example, if a person is rude or nasty to you, you may have a tendency to become angry and to get even with the person. However, if you find out that this rude person is behaving this way because he just lost a son in an accident, you may immediately change your attitude from anger to sympathy.
Cool off by waiting out the surge of your adrenalin in a setting or surrounding which will not further trigger the anger. For example, if you are arguing with another person, getting away from the person for the time being will give you time to cool off. You may use pleasant settings to distract you or prevent you from fanning the anger. Some people go for a walk, a drive, do exercise. Take note that the cooling off period will not work if it is used to pursue the train of thought that induced the anger. The power of distraction lies in its ability to stop such angry train of thoughts.
Source: Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, N.Y. 10036, U.S.A.

Prepared by:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines