Posted by: Upāsaka | 09/20/2018

The Perils of Anger

Last night, after a long day at work I arrived home to an empty house. I texted my wife to find out if dinner needed to be made, made it, took out the garbage and changed the laundry. I was feeling pretty self-satisfied when she called me to come move the car she just parked in questionable spot near a hydrant.

I cannot tell you how parking in Manhattan gives me anxiety. Even after almost two decades of living here I have never gotten used to it. So, I run to get the car while she and the two year old literally stand in the space. To my horror I see a car has pulled up and put on their blinkers, attempting to take the spot she’s holding. I’m seeing red and mindfulness has evaporated like morning dew on the hood of a car in the desert sun. I pull up spitting like a cat (not cursing thankfully) and I’m afraid he’s going to do something crazy as I pull in, nose first to the spot. My wife runs in as he and I exchange barbs and I try to park the car better while trying to make sure he can’t wedge himself in.

So, I call the cops. The ask for a description so I get out to get a look at him. I see he’s a car service driver and they ask for a description. I saw he looks to be Muslim guy to which he accedes. The next part has left me feeling particularly ashamed although I’m not sure why. I said “How is it your deen to attack and threaten women and children?”

At some point my wife returns and starts talking to the guy, it is clarified that he wasn’t threatening her, they were simply arguing about the spot. Seeing all of this from afar I let my fear and anger get the better of me and create a situation that could have ended very badly.

In the end, I was able to send him on his way with the promise that I would let the cops know it was a misunderstanding and I apologized for my overreaction. Perhaps ironically, one of the people I was attempting to protect ended up attacking me for it and cited my reaction (perhaps rightly) as evidence of my anger issues.

This morning I discovered my wallet had been lost and, for whatever reason, my mind connected my transgression with the loss as a kammic result. Whatever the case, may I never again allow anger to cloud my perception again and if it does may I remain as immobile as a block of wood.


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