Anger is nothing new in society. It does seem, however, to be cropping up rather a lot these days—in families, in the workplace, in public gatherings, in politics, and in relations between cultures and nations. Most certainly, solutions need to be found for the troubling situations that give rise to anger. But what about anger itself? What can be done, even while solutions are being sought, to reduce feelings of anger, and thus to reverse the proliferation of destructive, angry outbursts? To me, it comes down to this: I can begin with myself—by learning how to reduce anger in myself and to respond in a constructive way to anger in others.

An item reprinted from The Jerusalem Post in an "Items of interest" column in this magazine caught my attention. Shmuel Greenbaum's pregnant wife was killed in the bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001. Yet, as the article pointed out, "In the days following his wife's death, Greenbaum refused to allow himself to get angry." Instead, "he urged people to perform acts of kindness" and "establish[ed] an organization in his wife's memory called Partners in Kindness, in order to encourage people around the world to an act of kindness each day" (Sentinel, August 18, 2003, p. 4).

Greenbaum's outward response was remarkable. But it was his inward response—not allowing himself to get angry—that enabled him to go forward in such a wonderfully constructive way. That's what really caught my attention.

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A healing link between two brothers
September 22, 2003

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