Disconnect the buttons.

Aaron Holmes

Guest Editorial

Tuesday, February 17 2015

Sometimes things irk you beyond all reason.

When that tan minivan cut you off and did 98 in the fast lane with it’s left turn signal on it would be easy to get angry.

Road rage is an easy example, but whatever your pet peeve is there are things that push your buttons.

Disconnect the buttons.

You get to choose your responses, and anything that’s not going to matter ten minutes from now is hardly worthy of attention, let alone rage.

In fact, whatever triggered your anger is already in the past, and can never be changed. The only thing you can control is how much you let it derail your future.

Sometimes, there are things you can do to keep it from happening again. Sometimes not. Either way, flipping out is unlikely to make the situation better, especially if there’s nothing to be done about it.

Ill-considered responses often cause more harm than any initial slight. Running that Minivan off the road might feel righteous, but fixing your dents would be a pain.

Allowing others to trigger your rage reflex acknowledges that you’ve given up your freedom to choose your behaviour.

In fact, how you choose to respond is what makes you you. Guard that freedom.

If you’re predisposed to being angry and judgmental, consider how that supports your objectives. Maybe it doesn’t.

“I believe that the size of a man can be measured by the size of the thing that makes him angry.” J. Kenfield Morley, The Rotarian, Feb 1937.