"Since the moment of my birth and the very first cry I made, 'anger' has played a great influence in my life. One of my mother's often-told tales was how I disliked my cot so much that before my third birthday, I had shaken it to bits in order to escape its constraints.
I grew up the eldest of seven children within a materially poor household where this week's food was paid for by next week's wages that my father had yet to earn. What I lacked in material things though, I made up for in imagination and positivism. When seven children converge on the breakfast table each morning to find food that will feed no more than three or four, survival instincts soon teaches one to push and shove, and shout a little more than the next person in line. To most outsiders, such loud voices often come across as aggression, but we from large families know it as being no more than healthy argument and fierce discussion.
At the age of twelve after a traffic accident in which I incurred multiple injuries, I was unable to walk for three years, after having been informed that I would never walk again. This state of affairs left me angry with life, fearful for the future and devoid of all manner of loving expression towards myself or others. The amount of anger in my heart carried me through initially and it also helped to determine my unflinching and disciplined resolve over the next eight years as I re-entered a more normal pattern of life while improving my mobility.
At the age of eighteen years, I was an angry young man and the youngest shop steward in Great Britain. I was angry by all the social injustice and discrimination around me; particularly the low wages paid to poorer folk for their eleven-hour-days working in appalling conditions. I became determined to fight the bosses any way I could to better the lot of my mill working colleagues. When I looked around me outside the factory gates, I saw an underclass of non-white people being racially discriminated against in work, accommodation and social circles and I even saw signs in boarding houses that blatantly read 'No blacks, no dogs, no Irish!' Spending two years in Canada and America during the early 60s revealed such colour prejudice to be even worse over there than it was here.
During the 1970s as a young Probation Officer in Huddersfield, I found that I was coming into contact with more and more aggressive offenders daily; offenders who had allowed their anger levels to break the law, break bones, break up families, wreck their lives and shatter all future prosperity. After many years of meticulously researching behaviour patterns, I was very fortunate to develop the process of 'Anger Management.' My research into the behaviour patterns of six hundred offenders revealed that at the heart of all inappropriate behaviour was a body imbalance of anger, fear and love. The 'Anger Management' process I founded, showed how persons who displayed anger levels which they had been previously unable to control under specific circumstances could now learn to manage and control their aggressive behaviour. Within two years, the benefits of this process had mushroomed across the English-speaking world.
During my 70th year of life, I was informed that I had a terminal illness that was treatable, but not curable. While I didn't consider myself neither a brave person nor a man resigned to die, I expressed no anger upon being diagnosed as such. I was greatly annoyed and possibly p...... off for a brief period that my marriage to Sheila, a mere five months earlier, would not last as long as we both had initially hoped. I was able, however, to express what thirty-five years earlier would have been 'anger', as being no more than 'a huge disappointment' rather than feeling bad about the world and the cards that fate had dealt me. Over the past thirty-five years, my anger levels have been controlled and have always been made to work in my favour. While I have often been angry with this or that, my anger has been appropriately and healthily expressed and I have subsequently behaved non-aggressively within the situation I found myself.
What has happened over the years, however, is that I have allowed my anger to work for me instead of against me. Sometimes it has been transformed into a steely determination to fight some cause, amend an injustice or more recently, face and confront my terminal illness. This has only proved possible, however, by finding more 'love' daily in my heart and in the heart of others than I found the day before.
You see, it is physiologically impossible to get the anger out of your body until you learn to put love there in its place. Love and anger are mutually incompatible bedfellows and cannot co-exist within the same body; hence the presence of one will produce the absence of the other and vice versa. As I said in my post yesterday, there is a 'Dragon of Anger' and a 'Dragon of Love' which fight for space within our hearts. Whichever one resides inside a person essentially governs the quality and precise nature of the behaviour that the body displays through its mind, mouth, hands, feets and other organs.
So the next time you hear someone's anger roar out, instead of roaring back at them, which will only worsen and aggravate the situation, offer some love and support instead; unless of course the roar springs forth from the mouth of an angry man-eating tiger who is very hungry and eager for its lunch; in which case forget everything I've just written and run for your life!" William Forde: August 12th, 2017.