Essay and Answer Writing

“Anger and intolerance are enemies of correct understanding”

Mahatma Gandhi had once said “Anger and intolerance are enemies of correct understanding”. Anger and intolerance towards anyone – an individual, group of people or even a situation blindsides us. It clouds our rational judgement or “correct understanding” and makes us unable to perceive what the truth is. Getting angry is easy. But it is important in order to correctly analyse a situation that we get over our anger and prejudice to react calmly. The essay shows why this is important. 
Anger and intolerance
Anger is a natural response to perceived threats. It causes our body to release adrenaline, our muscles to tighten, and our heart rate and blood pressure to increase. Our senses might feel more acute and our face and hands flushed. Anger itself isn't a problem – it’s related to how we handle it.
There are many common triggers for anger:
·losing patience
·feeling as if opinion or efforts aren’t appreciated
·memories of traumatic event
·personal problems
·unique anger triggers, based on what you were taught to expect from yourself, others and the world around you. 
Intolerance is a lack of respect for practices or beliefs other than one's own. It also involves the rejection of people whom we perceive as different, for example members of a social or ethnic group other than ours, or people who are different in political or sexual orientation. Intolerance can manifest itself in a wide range of actions from avoidance through hate speech to physical injury or even murder.
How do anger and intolerance affect understanding?
Research has shown that anger causes negative emotions which manifest in many ways. Some research suggests that inappropriately expressing anger can be harmful to your health. There’s also evidence that anger and hostility is linked with heart disease, high blood pressure, peptic ulcers and stroke. More importantly, both anger and intolerance hamper emotional intelligence and block objectivity and rationality. 
Anger and intolerance are devoid of rationality. It makes one unable to understand others’ views and we only prioritise our views and emotions over everything else. It makes people make wrong decisions, hurt others’ feelings and not understand anyone’s suffering. Sometimes in the spur of anger people end up making choices that can have an implication for the rest of their lives. 
Anger and intolerance have a direct bearing on understanding as:
·Anger makes a person lose their calm and take hasty decisions which may not be correct. 
·Anger makes a person lose patience which drives him towards intolerance. 
·Angry person is a constantly stressed person, such a person cannot think with clarity.
·Anger affects the person who is angry as well as all the people who are touched by that person’s anger.
·Anger leads to an influenced, non-objective and emotional decision, which is not based on well thought outcomes and understanding of consequences of such decisions, which could be dangerous. E.g. In anger, mobs may lynch an innocent without knowing or verifying his crime.
·Evils like honour killing, acid attack by spurned lovers is because of anger at the moment.
·Intolerance makes a person blind to other opinions and narrow down a person’s thinking and judgement marred by biased views.
·Intolerance in society prevents correct understanding as people only see one side of the coin.
It is perhaps because of these aforementioned reasons that every religion in the world considers anger a sin. Be it Christianity, Buddhism or Hinduism, all of them point to the problems of anger and intolerance. Balanced decision making, social progress and development is made possible through leaders who have a cool head on their shoulders and not by people who are easily irritated or who are not tolerant of others, conflicting viewpoints, ways of living and thinking or world views.
Way forward: how to manage anger and intolerance?
Understanding is a disposition to appreciate or share the feelings and thoughts of others. How easy is it to appreciate anything if you are angry?  How easy would it be to appreciate the feelings or thoughts of a group of people towards whom you are intolerant?  Doesn’t sound like it’s going to be easy. However, by training your mind to manage negative emotions, one can achieve the goals of rationality and objectivity. Learning to control anger is a challenge for everyone at times. Consider seeking help for anger issues if your anger seems out of control, causes you to do things you regret, hurts those around you or is taking a toll on your personal relationships.
·Expression: act of conveying your anger and intolerance. Expression ranges from a reasonable, rational discussion to a violent outburst.
·Suppression: attempt to hold in your anger and possibly convert it into more constructive behaviour. Suppressing anger, however, can cause you to turn your anger inward on yourself or express your anger through passive-aggressive behaviour.
·Calming down: control your outward behaviour and your internal responses by calming yourself and letting your feelings subside.
·Meditation: yoga and meditation techniques to control anger is a must in a way it gives one control over one’s own mind.
·Acceptance: it is important to accept other views and thoughts so as to develop as a rational human being. For this education and awareness about other’s rights also plays an important role.
“Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned”- it is common to lose steadiness of mind when faced with stress. However it is important to be emotionally intelligent to act in a fair and unbiased manner. Balanced decision making for social progress and development can only be made with an objective and unbiased mind, which can be achieved by controlling anger and being tolerant and open.


“Anger and intolerance are enemies of correct understanding”
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