A friend once complained to me that he'd been suffering from a cold and that "nothing helped," despite his taking a cabinet full of medicine. He lamented that after all these years nobody had found a cure for the common cold.
"But there is a cure," I said.
"Come on," he said. "Like what?"
"Potassium cyanide," I said. "Chemical abbreviation KCN."
"Isn't that a poison?"
"Sure, in relatively small doses it will kill you every time. But it also cures your cold."
"Treatment seems a bit severe."
Because he had talked to me in the past about his frustration in relationships with his wife, children, and others, I used this conversation as a metaphor. "When your wife is difficult—when she doesn't listen to you when she nags you—what do you do?"
"When I get angry sometimes she listens, or she may stop nagging me."
"When she doesn't listen, and when she nags, you become afraid, right?"
"Yeah, I guess."
"And anger makes you feel better. It's like a cure for your fear."
"Has anger ever made you genuinely happy? Or made your relationship with her better?"
"But you still use it, even though it's killing you and her. You use anger because temporarily it seems to work, like using potassium cyanide to treat a cold."
He understood. We do many things that seem to work temporarily, but the overall effects are deadly. When we are wise, we recognize what really works, instead of going for the quick fix.
Find genuine happiness now and forever.
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