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Unclassified Info: Defusing the anger one tip at a time

August 08, 2011|By Gary Huerta

From time to time, I have made passing comments about my merry band of haters — those individuals who get a tremendous amount of satisfaction letting me know how much they disagree with me.

Truth be told, I respect readers who take the time to express a differing opinion. I have engaged in some very polite, fascinating dialogues over these last couple of years. A few have even managed to alter my opinion on a couple of topics.

I’m sure it will come as no great revelation when I say there are a lot of angry people among us. In fact, I encourage those of you who may be reading this in a public place to peer over your paper and survey the landscape. I’m willing to bet someone within close range is scowling, sneering or griping about something that is wrong in the world.

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Most of the time, the anger of others doesn’t interfere with our own lives. But when it does, we have a number of choices. We can let their anger resonate within us, thus perpetuating the negativity. We can ignore or diffuse it. Or we can try to comprehend it before making any judgments.

This week, I had two random encounters with a couple of very angry people, whom I tried my best to understand.

The first came via an expletive-filled note left on my windshield. It seems someone had taken exception to my parking in a yellow loading zone and used the opportunity to give me a sampling of their colorful vocabulary.

The insult-laden scrawl went on and on threatening damage to my car if I parked there again. Ironically, it was signed, “A Concerned Citizen.” This person then drew a happy-face emoticon, which — along with the numerous misspellings of body parts — amused me.

I was going to throw the letter away as nothing more than the rants of a lunatic, but for some reason I kept it. I studied the letter several times, curious as to why someone would invest so much useless energy. Who has time to patrol the streets looking for parking violators?

For those of you cursing at the mere thought of my parking in a loading zone, let me clarify one of the best kept parking secrets on Earth. I parked in this spot around 9 p.m., and if there are no other postings, yellow zones are fair game between the hours of 6 p.m. and 7 a.m.

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