Learning the delicate art of staying away from negative emotions and violent actions

The Tamil song "why this kolaveri?" became very famous some years ago. This literally means the urge to kill. While this might be extreme, we, as human beings, are subject to many kinds of stimulus every day. It is a very delicate act to stay away from negative emotions and urges that lead to very disastrous consequences. Some dimensions of this act are discussed in some detail in this article.


Modern life, with all its inherent contradictions and attractions, does make us lose our balance very often. For instance, we become very angry or very sad when we find someone going too much against our wishes. This anger slowly evaporates into sadness when we realize that we cannot do anything about it. To give the most simple and seemingly silly example, a father might not like his nineteen-year-old daughter wearing jeans day in and day out. For the girl, it is a temptation. It is a natural urge, as she sees everyone around her, wearing it. What do you do? The wisest choice is to simply take off to the nearest market, buy something and engage with some stranger in a light-hearted conversation. For instance, with a watchman of the nearest gated community, just five hundred meters from your residence. He might respond so well. The mundane topic would be a shortage of water. He would possibly talk of those good old times. The anger is gone. You must realize that you are helpless as the girl has already decided on something and would not like any advise. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The stimulus for your reaction can come from any source.

Be that as it may, the six major steps in this direction are a) Acknowledge the change in whatever form it presents itself b) Divert your mind to do something that you love c) Never be too much attached to things beyond your control d) Take to spirituality for peace of mind and e) Have your own coping mechanisms.

Acknowledge the change in whatever form it presents itself

The reference to the example of a 19-year-old girl wearing jeans was deliberate. After the girl left the place, the father gave the mother a mouthful. The mother hit back, saying that the father was solely responsible. Even when she was five years younger, the girl was always pampered as a "raaja beti". ( daughter of a king). So, you better reap the consequences now was the argument. Fortunately, a nephew of the mother, who landed a little later, cooled tempers down, explaining to them the 'objective reality". This wise man reasoned out that we should never look at anything from our own point of view. The key is empathy and also the ability to look at the objective reality. While doing so, the negativity will vanish. The 50-year-old father and the 46-year-old mother acknowledged the reasoning. "Times have changed" was the reaction thereafter. Our understanding of change is often blurred. We bring our own perspectives to it. We look at it through jaundiced eyes. This is unwise. The best thing is to just acknowledge the change and get on with it.

Divert your mind to do something that you love

Outside of work, even this author was often faced with situations similar to the one described above. Wiser counsel helped. His interactions with members of the wider society took him to freelance counseling and this was appreciated by some people who saw the need for it. Human emotions are so complex. When we start digging deep, it becomes very easy to understand people. This author met with people who did different things in different cities. For instance, five families who did superb roof gardening, growing a wide range of vegetables, through organic farming in Coimbatore city, in different localities, often shared fresh knowledge. The common thread was the use of scarce water. Rainwater harvesting success stories in the nearby villages ( 10 kms away) were sought to be understood for a wider appreciation of what more could be done. Of late, interactions of this kind really does help this author keep away from any negative emotion like anger or total frustration and so on. You also need to find out something similar to do. Some take off on long walks. This is fine too.

Never be too much attached to things beyond your control

Take any discussion on corruption. The only way in which this can be minimized is to stay away from it. The more we get into it, the more we will be angry or frustrated. We often abuse the actors involved. In fact, this is the best that we could do. Of course, we pay every single pie that we owe to the Government. But we possibly need to just be happy that we do this. Beyond this call of duty, it is futile to even think of doing something. Yes, when we deliver good lessons, our sons and daughters would listen. This is the exact thing that we should do. This is where we need to draw a line. Once the line is drawn, we better stay within it. It is unwise to even think of crossing it. Corruption is not the only issue. Child abuse, pollution, excessive use of social media ... the list goes on. We just need to keep away. This is exactly what we need to do.

Take to spirituality for peace of mind

Spirituality is a great healer. The lessons from the greatest saints can calm our mind. The seer of the Kanchi Mutt, during his time, was called Mahaperiyavaa ( the biggest saint) for no small reason. He would hardly speak a single word. His ideas were put into print and were also presented in hundreds of videos. When one hears such wise ideas, it is not that he or she becomes philosophical. He or she is able to see the futility of numerous conflicts that arise in society. The mind looks at various perspectives and possibilities. The alternatives and the best of actions that help the mind to become very calm come rushing out like a torrent. Spirituality could present itself in various forms. Books and religious books could also offer a good solution. More so, as society is becoming very complex.

Have your own coping mechanisms

Apart from whatever has been described above, the individual is likely to come up with his or her own coping mechanisms. There are many who write letters to the editors of different newspapers. There are hundreds who find solace in Carnatic or Hindustani music., There are hundreds who visit the art galleries to admire and explore different things. There are many who dance. There are many who simply engage themselves in reading. You are unique and it is wise to stay unique as well. When you are 20 or sixty, the ground rules are the same. You need to just be unique. You can easily find out some way. Of course, a 20-year-old may not like spirituality in the same manner as what a 60-year-old would. Yet. the means is the same and the end will also the same -- a fuller, mature human being.


The world is already very complex. The stimulus for anyone to go astray and even commit murders, in the extreme form of anger, is real. Yet, we need to find out different coping mechanisms to deal with our challenges. It is another story that we do not have any choice.


Author: Natarajan29 May 2019 Member Level: Gold   Points : 7

A lovely article that is the need of the hour for us. Not a day goes without reading about violence and killings related to road rage, caste and religion, attacks with the slightest questioning tone about loud music, parking space etc.

The author has brought in an important aspect of óbjective reality. This enables us to be as real to the scenario in the current given time and trend instead of thinking and responding subjectively. Having to do something positive or even a hobby helps us to calm down and forget our anger for some time.

Being too passionate or emotionally driven can often lead to exaggerated reactions. For instance, an obsessive love, blind faith in a political party or leader etc. Spirituality, listening to music etc all are measures to control our anger and emotional outburst.

I would like to add that we need to be mature enough not to always insist on things to be perfect, to expect everyone to have the same level of education, civic awareness etc. Perhaps, the most important point is to always remember that a few minutes of uncontrolled anger or outbursts can cause significant damage (broken relationship, physical harm, potential police cases, penalties or even loss of life) to us and the people who are dependent on us. If we think of these and walk away for such situations, we would have gained a lot.

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