Gnomicon 036

If you have not already done so, you may wish to read the
Introduction to Gnomica.

Gnomicon  036
H 5 Apr 2012

Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
Ambrose Bierce (24 Jun 1842 – 26 Dec 1913)

My Father once told me that it was a good idea to write an angry letter when you are at your angriest, just when all the toxic passion was at high tide and would come pouring forth.  And then, he said, it was an even better idea not to mail that venomous letter!  Sit on it at least 48 hours.  Then reread it.  Then ask yourself:  still want to put that letter in the mail drop?

I’ve actually heeded his advice on a number of occasions, and not once have I regretted following his lead on this one – and not mailing off the offensive missive that a few day later in the light of reasoned calm seemed much too much over the top! Good grief, I can recall having thought, thanks be to high heaven that I did not send forth those intemperate words – no matter how much I might still have felt them to have been entirely justified.  As a result, not only did I not further complicate an already precarious situation but also did get to do a healthy venting without causing damage to myself or others.

In anger our hearts and our minds are enveloped as if in a choking, blinding smoke of unreason that prevents us from seeing and acting with any semblance of clarity.  That’s when potentially catastrophic mistakes get made, the kinds of mistakes that can’t be undone.

What Bierce deals with here on the spoken plane my Father addressed on the written one.

The advice is supremely valuable on both counts!


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