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The defense-mechanism of fighting is generally the last resort for animals in nature, yet human beings have developed a habit of using anger to solve our problems as our first line of defense. Unfortunately it rarely works, if ever. When we struggle against things, even things that need to be changed, our anger always works against us. When we fight against the way things are, we create an air of negativity that steers us away from where we want to go, which is ultimately to a state of peace and harmony. Further, we create resistance in the people around us that was not there before, which makes it harder to make our point or change unwanted aspects of our reality.

Moreover, anger, when we linger in it for long periods of time, creates profound negative results in both the body and the mind. We all know this. While robbing us of health, vitality and longevity, the emotion simply makes us feel terrible. Despite the goal of feeling more powerful, angry people tend to feel exactly the opposite of this on the inside; they feel powerless. Why else would they be angry? True power is in the ability to create change, an ability that is best exercised through the use of gentler, more harmonious methods; what might be called “skillful means”. This is “The Way” that the Taoist sages referred to in the ancient texts such as the Lao Tzu and Tao Te Ching. It is the easy way that feels good as it achieves feats of change that the struggling could never hope to attain. It is the river that chisels away the mountain effortlessly over time, until nothing remains.

It is true that experiencing anger can be healthy when it is appropriate. When we feel depressed, anger can be the spring-board off of which we launch ourselves into a reality that is more to our liking. We must not linger in this place for long, however, as it is not our basic nature. We are acting in a manner that does not utilize the power of positive emotion, which is our greatest resource. Happiness is not just the goal, it is the means by which we attain everything we desire.

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