“Anyone can become angry – that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way; this is not easy.” – Aristotle
As you see, Aristotle is a typical philosopher. He definitely has a way of elevating the obvious to an amazing level of complexity. You may have thought that something or someone ticks you off; you don’t like it; you get angry; and that’s all there is to that. Silly you!
Along with getting angry, you need to be sure you get it just right. That means the right person, the right degree, the right time, the right purpose, and the right way; and if that weren’t enough, you are reminded that it isn’t easy. Not easy? With all of those restrictions, it may not even be worth bothering with. You may decide that you are way too busy to be angry.
How would that work? First, you need to be clear about what made you angry. Next, you need to determine who did or didn’t do whatever made you angry. That is the right person, the only one you get to be angry with.
Having determined with whom to be angry, you can’t just get angry. You need to decide just how angry you can reasonably get about whatever happened. You determine the degree of anger that is appropriate, based on your analysis.
So far, so good. You know who to get angry with and just how angry you can get. Can you simply go ahead and be angry? Absolutely not. According to Aristotle, there is a time for anger which seems to imply that there are times that you can’t get angry. You need to be sure this is the right time. If not, you will just have to wait for the right time to come. It’s clear that anger isn’t for the impatient.
Well, you have identified the right person and know just how angry you can be. You are sure it’s the right time; so, do you do your getting angry thing? Not yet. You might think that getting angry is its own justification but you would be wrong. You don’t get angry just because you are angry. You need to have a purpose. Will any purpose do? No, you need to have the right purpose. You don’t know what that means? You don’t know what the right purpose is? Sorry, you are out of luck. You can’t get angry until you figure that out. It’s the right purpose or no getting angry today for you.
You have worked through the prerequisites to getting angry so do you get angry now? You can, with one more restriction. You have to determine the right way to be angry. There are apparently approved protocols for being angry and you need to select the right protocol, all things considered; and there are a lot of factors to consider. You may do well to contract it out to an expert. That way you will reduce the likelihood of your screwing up this getting angry stuff. Actually, you should probably just leave getting angry to the professionals.