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Jewish Journal

I Live My Life On Principles

by Beit T'shuvah

August 26, 2013 | 11:34 am

By Joan Praver—Board Member/Volunteer

Losing my temper is usually rare but the cause for doing so is reliable.  Someone responding to me with sarcasm, an irritated look on his face, or someone giving me a patronizing answer or speaking to me like an authority with 'attitude,' can raise the hairs on my arms.  I am forced to try to assert self-control and make a concentrated effort not to reply in a voice raised in displeasure.

I’ve often questioned why I find it so irritating.  How come I can't ignore a superior attitude?  I try to analyze my intolerance as to why I get riled, coming to the conclusion that I set out to do the right thing and attempt to be a halo wearer; therefore, I am appalled at being corrected.  It is hard to accept when your attempts at perfection, rather than being accepted, are frowned upon.

The flaw is mine.  Everyone, being individual, has their own values and opinions and beliefs as to what is right and who expects to express them whether or not they please, is not intentionally looking to offend.  Just aiming to be perfect is asking for something that does not exist.  It is a hard lesson but I will try to listen more and criticize less and maybe, just maybe, find better ways of avoiding anger.

My priorities in my old age are to be kinder, more complimentary, to go out of my way to say hello, to hold open a door, to wear a smile, to look someone eye to eye and put out my hand or give an idea to someone who asks for help.

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