Traditional Culture: Control Oneself and Suppress Anger
(Clearwisdom.net) Hu Anguo was a famous theorist and writer in the Song Dynasty. He tried to abide by the behavior of a sage all his life. He served his country at many levels, the highest as "Baowenge Scholar." When he was young, he had no patience. Once he was mad and hit a soldier. The soldier fought back. Hu realized that being angry was no way to resolve a problem, so he prepared a notebook and copied excerpts of stories from literature relating to tolerance. Gradually he turned into a much more patient person, and his mind became much more tolerant as well.
Xia Yuanji was the Secretary of the Internal Ministry in the Ming Dynasty. He was a person with a tolerant mind. Once someone asked him: "Can one learn your tolerance?" He said: "When I was young, I was always very angry when someone upset me. Later I first tried to control myself and appeared calm on the outside, while I slowly calmed myself down within. Gradually I found that I was able to control myself well on all occasions."
Li Tianfu was born in Hefei City in the Qing Dynasty. He was a very nice and friendly person. He served as a government official and reached the level of Wuyingdian Scholar. He was always very fair every time he discussed business with other officials in front of the emperor. When certain officials used harsh words or acted hostile toward him, he always smiled and said to them: "Why are you acting that way? With a calm mind, we can resolve everything. I was like you before, but then I slowly learned to control myself, and gradually I became a calm person."
Lin Zexu served as the governor of Jiangsu Province and later as the joint governor of Hunan and Guangdong Provinces. He was a person with no patience at first. Then, when he was in Jiangsu, he wrote "Control Your Temper" on a plaque and hung it in the hall as a constant reminder. As time went by, he turned into a very tolerant person that everyone respected.
In the examples above, these gentlemen were not so tolerant in the beginning. Rather, it was because they paid attention to cultivating themselves that they were able to develop calm and tolerant natures later on. Not controlling ones temper is harmful to ones physical and mental health. It reflects ones lack of discipline. It can often seriously hurt others and cause big problems. So one has to control ones temper. To control oneself and suppress one's anger are the best ways. If one always remembers to control oneself, one will gradually be able to do it well.