I was raised in a fighting family (yes, mostly Irish). Not fistfights, but
verbal ones. We argued, fought, yelled and ‘expressed’. Alcohol played a
role but the fighting would have been there anyway at some level. My father
was the best, louder and angrier than the rest of us. He wasn’t only that,
he was charming and funny and adventurous and kind and encouraging.
He wasn’t a control freak, he didn’t demand my sisters or me go in a certain
direction in life. He was, and is, a good man. Which made his anger all the
more curious and odd in many ways.
Later in life I can look back on why he was so angry so often and see all sorts
of reasons that I couldn’t see then. But my number one reason I think led to
his anger was his dissatisfaction with himself. He had secrets, habits, events,
stresses that made him angry. Angry because he couldn’t be free. He couldn’t
say what he was doing or thinking or wanting. I am convinced it made him
lash out at others with more irritation and disagreement than he would have
And, of course, I see it in myself as well. I know that I am much more likely to
be bothered by someone else’s actions or ideas when I am most bothered by my
own life. So, it comes down to honesty and peace with yourself. Not an easy thing
to have and practice with success, but it really is the path to peace with others.
quote by William Hazlitt, 1778-1830, England