Friday, March 11, 2011

Be a Man

(since this is part three, you might want to start with part one and part two first!)

How do I solve the anger management problem.  I don't want to ignore the problem and I don't want to give in.  I want the problem to go away, and for good.  I'm not satisfied with managing the anger, I want to eliminate it altogether.  Is that possible?

I was ruminating on this subject this afternoon and remembered a discussion I had a couple of years ago.  Mrs. O and I were putting together two raised bed gardens.  I am an avid gardener and I was really excited about the gardens.  I also wanted to include my young son in all of the gardening fun.  We decided to give our then-two-year-old his own space in which to plant, water, dig and weed.  I didn't want to allow him free reign of my gardens for fear that he might mistake heirloom tomatoes for weeds.  As we were setting up the kid garden only feet from my own gardens, I realized that this was no panacea.  I may have isolated space for Little E in theory, but four feet of lawn and an isolating theory are no match for a toddler, right?  What's to say that I'm not going to come home from work one afternoon and find all of my tomatoes in a heap?  What am I going to do if at some later time he turns my gardens into a sandbox or an obstacle suitable for bike jumps or the pole vault?

I think the answer is to 'be a man.'  I think we need to play to our strengths.  Let's be logical.  Let's be the problem solvers we would want to be for our wives if the shoe were on the other foot.  Run through the scenario in your head: think for a moment about your most prized material possession.  How angry would you feel if your spouse or child trashed it. . . on purpose?

Imagine that it happened.

Decide not to be angry.

Decide now how you will respond then.

Imagine that you know for a fact that some day someone will trash that thing that you value so much.  Realize with me that you will still be able to be alive without that thing, and quite happily if you so choose.  Realize with me that the person who trashed it is actually more important to you.  I think these most genuine realizations are the key to the best response.

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