By Martha C. Nussbaum

Anger is an emotion that strikes most of us, in some way, every day. When we are angry – after reading a headline in the news, feeling betrayed by someone, getting cut off on the highway – we may crave something very particular: payback. We may hope that the crooked politician goes to jail, that the betrayer is in turn betrayed, or that the bad driver gets a traffic ticket. But philosopher Martha Nussbaum believes we should think hard about this reaction and choose another one. In her words, “Whenever we are faced with pressing moral or political decisions, we should clear our heads, and spend some time conducting what Mandela (citing Marcus Aurelius) referred to as ‘Conversations with Myself’. When we do, I predict, the arguments proposed by anger will be clearly seen to be pathetic and weak, while the voice of generosity and forward-looking reason will be strong as well as beautiful.”

Read the full article at Aeon.

Have you ever replaced anger with understanding? Tell us about a time that you empathized with someone in a difficult situation.

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