Wrath revisited

One should not write at all when one is very, very angry. Several past Idleposts have been deleted on that ground. Much better, I admit, to delete before posting. But best not to write them at all. I count it as a serious character flaw, on my part, that in such situations I seem unable to take to drink, and indulge immoderate writing, instead. Yet even drink can provide no reliable cure: for I have known several angry old men who were not improved by alcoholism. Supplicatory prayer would then be the last resort.

It is worse if one pretends that one is not angry, for the purpose of making one’s anger count. Indeed, one of my most reliable sources of anger is people I catch doing that: who strike the Olympian pose when their motive is quite obviously the settlement of a personal score. To the crime of unconscionable wrath is added the vanity of being above it. Lucky am I, that as one of nature’s hotheads, I am almost incapable of pulling that off.

For the combination of anger and self-esteem is lethal.

This is a general observation: that while the Seven Deadly Sins may be formidable, each of them in its own right, their combination can provide real throw-weight. Add pride to any of the six others, and one has constructed a ballistic missile, aimed infallibly at one’s own soul.

There is such a thing as righteous indignation. There are occasions when it needs to be used. But it is not a weapon for amateurs.