July 23, 2010

Aggression is not necessarily bad even though it stems from impatience. The desire to do things NOW. The NOW. I noticed many people I encounter from my generation, the Me generation, who most likely got instant gratification when they were younger seem to exhibit this trait more than people I meet from other generations. Some people learn aggression from their primary caretaker, or a parent he/she identifies with closely.

There is nothing wrong in wanting to get things done NOW, but when NOW is the top priority one forgets about the feelings of people he/she interacts with, makes quick decisions and ends in repelling less aggressive people.

Aggression is not just unique to some people of my generation, or the US. Aggression is a cross cultural human trait–something we share with the rest of our species perhaps because of evolving in harsh environments.

Regardless of how we evolved, or how individual people acquired the trait (whether it’s nature or nurture), physical or verbal aggression can be dangerous to the individual and people around him/her psychologically and physically. Aggressive people break bridges in relationships and scare people away.

Several months ago a good friend told me about the significance of being aware of the feelings or thoughts that arise in oneself when one meditates. Instead of judging the feelings or thoughts as good or bad, he said to think about them as just being part of the state of mind at that moment.

If one feels aggression (or any other emotion for that matter), then it’s important to recognize and acknowledge it. Think about the possible consequences of aggression without judging oneself or the consequences–reflect on the long-term and short-term effects of aggression. After one thinks about it critically, then he/she can brainstorm methods that will work for that individual person and practice those when uncomfortable situations arise.

“I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.” Mahatma Gandhi


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