Albetano, an ancient Roman philosopher, is recorded as having said: ‘The angry man always thinks he can do more than he can.’

When a man is intoxicated with alcohol, he is not in control of himself. He may even go so far as to bang his head on a stone, unmindful of the fact that it may not be the stone that breaks but his own head. This is because, in his besotted state, he wrongly gauges his own abilities and proceeds to do things which can have unfavourable consequences.

The same is true of the angry man. In a towering rage, a man is not in control of himself. He overestimates his own capabilities, as a result of which he involves himself in activities which are beyond his powers of control. He realizes his foolishness only when his temper has cooled. But, by that time, the wrong step has been taken and destruction has followed in its wake. It is now too late for regrets: he is unable to save himself from his own wrong action.

In India, one very glaring example of such misjudgement becomes evident in the ongoing conflict between the Muslims and the police. It repeatedly happens that, for some reason or the other, Muslims became enraged with the police, and then they clash with them. This invariably results in the Muslims coming to grief. The reason that the clash takes place at all is that, because the Muslims became so irate, they do not stop to compare their own strength with that of the armed constabulary. If they were to think about the situation coolly, they would make a true estimate of their own strength, and that in itself would be enough to prevent them from clashing with the police. Anger blinds them to the reality of their own weakness, they start fighting with forces superior to their own, and the result is that they—the Muslims—are the sufferers.

The moral of this is that one should never do anything of any importance when in an angry mood. Steps to counter adversaries should be taken only after all anger has subsided. This will mean fewer setbacks and more successes in life.