By Gustav Putnam
Copyright 2012 Green King Press
We see these angry people on TV all the time. The husband and wife, arguing
while they're washing dishes, who end up smashing plates full of food all over the
kitchen. The angry teenager screaming “I hate you!” at his parents while he
smashes his cell phone into the wall and then runs to his room and slams the
door. Even young children get into the act, stomping on toys and throwing
tantrums left and right. And then someone usually says something funny, the
audience laughs, and the whole incident is forgotten.
What they don't show you on TV is that someone has to clean up that mess in the
kitchen. And someone has to pay to replace the plates. They don't show you that
the reason the teenager thinks it's OK to scream and destroy his cellphone is
because he watches his parents act the same way. And they don't tell you that the reason the toddler is so angry is because everybody else in the house is
always screaming and throwing things.
What they don't show you on TV is all the harm anger can do. It has lasting
effects on everyone around you. The toddler who is standing in the doorway
witnessing the plate-throwing incident between mommy and daddy is learning
that, when you're angry, it must be OK to scream and throw things. Mommy and
daddy do it. And it must be OK to call people names – mommy and daddy do it all
On TV you don't get to see that same toddler, a few years later, physically attack
their third grade teacher or try to poison their fifth grade teacher because they
didn't like the grade they got on the math test. You don't get to see that same
toddler grow into an angry teenager who takes a gun to school or the mall.