How To Be Angry

(If you’re short on time, skip to the bottom for numbered instructions.)

“I’m not going to the dinner tonight!” he foamed.

“But you always go,” she responded.

“Right, but this one is about (insert hot button issue), and I’m not going to sit there and listen to those morons act like they know what they’re talking about!” he retorted furiously.

He knew he was right.  He knew what he believed.  And he knew they were wrong.

He could destroy their ideas with logic.  He could destroy their ideas with evidence.  He could destroy their ideas with history.  Listen to them?  Associate with them?  How could he?  He didn’t even understand how they could exist.  How could he possibly be expected to keep his cool when they were so blatantly wrong?  No, he’d made up his mind, he wasn’t going.

Waking up, he saw he had a few more morning emails than normal.  Several of his friends wrote that they missed his presence at the dinner.  One said they were all looking forward to a dissenting opinion, and without him it was a rather bland evening.  Immediately, he felt a pang of regret.   He didn’t expect anyone to even notice he wasn’t there, let alone miss him.  Kicking himself for forgetting that people are not arguments, people are not ideas, and people are not principles, he stood up and laboriously began his morning.  At 55, he thought he’d have learned his lesson by now.  Oh well, lucky for him the memories of his friends always welcoming him back with open arms burst through the floodgates.

Instructions for How To Be Angry

Step 1 – Make a decision without all the information.

Step 2 – Cease contact with anyone who disagrees with you.

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