#9: On Anger (De Ira) Apr20


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#9: On Anger (De Ira)

Quotes that resonate, from ‘How to Keep Your Cool: An Ancient Guide to Anger Management’ by Seneca, selected, translated and introduced by James Romm.     

[T]he cause of anger is the sense of having been wronged; but one ought not to trust this sense. Don’t make your move right away, even against what seems overt and plain; sometimes false things give the appearance of truth. One must take one’s time; a day reveals the truth. 

And don’t give accusers ready access to your ears, but take note of this flaw in human nature and always suspect it: what we hate to hear, we readily believe, and we grow angry before we use our judgment. Think then: what if we are driven to act, not by accusations, but by mere suspicions, and grow angry at the guiltless because we read the worst into someone’s facial expression or laughter?

No, we must plead the case of the absent defendant despite our own interests, and we must hold back anger pending judgment. A punishment that’s delayed can still be imposed, but once imposed, it can’t be withdrawn.