Be Slow to Anger

I had a fiery temper when I was younger. I lost my cool with my children a couple of times. I remember giving my younger son a couple of tight slaps when he was in secondary school. Till today I cannot forgive myself. I hope he will find it in his heart to forgive me. I pray that he will remember me for my merits and not allow that one incident to negate everything else I have done for him as a father. They say parents can only be as happy as their unhappiest child.

When faced with someone’s words or behavior that we dislike, we’re inclined to fly off the handle. I have since learned how to control my emotions but we live in a socially polarized time and our “righteous indignation” can easily cause us to flare up. But “righteous indignation” is often an excuse we give ourselves to power our sanctimony. I am sure those people who tore down statues believed they were morally superior to those whose statues they vehemently wrenched off pedestals. I’m sure those keyboard warriors who recently “outed” some election candidates causing others to question the character of those candidates truly believed in the rightness of their actions. Others, many of whom without exercising discernment, swallowed everything they encountered on social media, so they happily joined the lynch mob. The problem with mud-slinging is that once it gets started, it takes on a life of its own and it snowballs. Indeed no one with an unsavory background or less than sterling reputation should hold public office but the court of public opinion often passes judgment on people before any investigation can be launched.

I have never been a physical person, I wouldn’t even harm a fly, yet I am ashamed to say that I have lost my composure before. Today I believe that the word “rod” in that adage “spare the rod and spoil the child” doesn’t have to mean resorting to actually wielding a rod and whacking someone with it or delivering slaps. Wrath very easily escalates to physical acts of violence and more people than you can imagine can get hurt. Some hurts never heal.

Chastisement, when necessary, can be accomplished through non-violent means. Gentleness and civility are more humane. We must not forget Marcus Aurelius’ observation “how much more harmful are the consequences of anger than the circumstances that aroused them in us.” Every situation can be made better by a cool head. I believe that we can often weaken the hold anger has over our minds by thinking about what it will cost us: the negative consequences of indulging in it. Seneca believed that anger is a temporary madness, and that even when justified, we should never act on the basis of it.

I don’t know what really triggered or provoked a doctor to beat up his girlfriend recently. In this supposedly civilized day and age, there is simply no excuse to lay your hands on another person, least of all your girlfriend. What kind of a man is that?! The news reported that on August 26th 2017 his girlfriend refused to have sex with him, so he bashed her face in. He rained blows on her face repeatedly, even as she screamed for help while begging him to stop. He grabbed her hair when she tried to escape, locked the door, and smashed her phone when she scrambled for it. Police officers and medics arrived on the scene after the doctor’s own father called the police. The victim spent 21 days in hospital. Her face was swollen and bloodied, with multiple facial fractures making it hard for her to even open her eyes.

That was the third time she was assaulted. On March 12th 2017, after a tiff, he punched her in the face, but she decided to give him another chance.

The relationship was a volatile one: He peppered his descriptions of her with derogatory expletives, and would call and text her close to 100 times when she failed to reply him within half an hour.

He hit her again over two weeks later, on March 30th, after accosting her on her way to work.

Obviously, the doctor had anger management issues.

But, again, she took him back, despite being advised to leave him.

Then came the final straw – the attack on August 26th.

Well, the doctor had his comeuppance – on June 24th 2020 he was sentenced to three years, six months and two weeks’ jail and four strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to assault charges. He was also fined $4,000/-.

This is hardly the first time we hear of doctors misbehaving.

I know someone who was once married to a doctor. He used to hit her. He would say “I am a doctor; I know where to hit.” She has since divorced him.

And a psychiatrist was recently found guilty of not only having sex with a patient, but also encouraging another doctor to have sex with the same woman.

When the woman reported him, he sued her for defamation. WTF, right?

No, he didn’t bash her face in but I can only imagine the pain that must be felt by the poor woman.

This entry was posted in Unforgiven. Bookmark the permalink.