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Press reports on criminal cases occurring within the family circle point to a major worrying aspect in interactions among relatives, neighbours or at a wider social level. What repeatedly comes up in the stories from the culprits’ point of view is their anger and loss of self-control during the short time that preceded their deadly acts.

In a recent case, one young man granted himself quite a long time of total black-out of his senses, so overwhelmed was he by the fury and rage which led him to stab his father nearly thirty times. So this is precisely what the issue is about: anger and loss of self-control. The few press reports on extreme cases are quite representative of the lack of maturity in the management of conflict and anger that one can observe around, unless one lives in an ivory tower and mixes with cool-headed people only.

What is surprising is that the crime rate and level of violence are not higher given the pressure-cooker reality of so many folks simmering under an apparently calm exterior. We are here talking of a pressure-cooker that can blow up its lid any time the weight of adrenalin and high blood pressure becomes unbearable for the poor soul who has been given brains to think and a heart to feel. Come on, breathe, relax and take it easy! you tell people around. Do yoga or something else, for God’s sake! After witnessing such scenes of madness, you feel like trying your hand at an impressionist painting of the poor creature who gesticulates under the spell of the devil. Take a brush and two colours: red and black. Sketch out an outline of a body burning with the flames of anger, an empty head without brains, and a heart filled with darkness. Name it ‘Suspension of Reason’ or ‘Self-Destruction’. A poor soul overpowered by destructive forces. For this is what it is all about, indeed!

What can you do about it? Talking sense, reasoning and advising is totally useless for the hapless soul is not in a position to listen; he or she has closed the windows that let fresh air in, while stale air is consuming the rot inside. You feel like calling the favourite Swami Shri Avdhoot Baba Shivanandji, Father of Healing, and showing his talks on hundreds of TV screens in homes and every nook and cranny of villages. And listen to his words of wisdom on: apni shahir ki andhar, apni ghar ki andhar, on the importance of sadhana, the road to perfection, on positive thoughts and beliefs which illuminate chakras and release positive vibrations.

But you are not Swami Shivanandji; you better tiptoe out of the room and leave the fury and rage behind to calm down.

What can the man or the woman in red and black do? Rush to hospital or a private clinic and be advised by the doctor to pa fer colère. Tone down for a few days until adrenalin rises and claims its seat at the centre of the body, and starts its devastating work again. A lot of folks seem to fit in the category of the pressure-cooker model. Look at the top for those who run or aspire to run the affairs of the country and you have an idea of some uncouth models that are displayed to the public. Verbal abuse of opponents, threats of revenge and retaliation… Others who are accused of embezzlement of funds, conflict of interest and corruption are carried on stretchers to the courts and clinics. Never seen such acts of comedy in any other country! A total lack of maturity and responsibility, a blatant act of cowardice. Why don’t they stand up like grown-ups and bravely face the music?

As regards ordinary citizens, a key factor is the lifestyle and quality of life that they are entangled in. The sole pursuit of material gains to satisfy basic needs such as as food, clothes and housing dries up the heart and causes damage to sensitivity, compassion, and healthy interaction with others. Apart from work, work, work…, what opportunities are given to people for self-improvement? A glaring truth is that the living conditions are such that no time is available for other exchanges and activities that help to improve minds, foster healthy relationships and make life more comfortable and pleasant. We have the impression that many people just never relax.

It is also a political and economic issue. The other tragedy is the inaccessibility of land for building private houses, hence the promiscuity and overcrowding of extended families in villages around. Land speculation, artificial crazy prices of land and real property, IRS, RES, gated and guarded communities that successive governments have encouraged for short-term profits. Result: total alienation of people from the destiny of the country which has been left to a handful of capitalists to dictate to the government.

With scarce opportunity and financial means to live and appreciate life differently, folks end up wallowing within closed limited circles of relatives, hurl verbal abuses at one another, devote little spare time to mind their brothers, sisters, in-laws, and relatives’ business, thrive on jealousy, envy and hatred, nourish their pet hates, inflict psychological sufferings on others and poison life around.

Instead of getting enmeshed in all the series of unhealthy and destructive emotions, the way out is for people to have some breathing space and get a life of their own. Getalifedotcom is part of the solution, someone suggested, it has been tried elsewhere to raise awareness on how to make one’s life more interesting, mind one’s own business and stop spreading poison, and in extreme cases, taking other people’s life.

 

* Published in print edition on 14  November 2014

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