Charles was talking to me about what he’d read in Real Love. “I like most of it, but there are some things I don’t agree with.”
“Like what?” I asked.
“You say that anger is always wrong, and I’m not sure I agree with that.”
“What you really mean is that you don’t LIKE hearing that anger is always wrong.”
After some discussion he agreed that he was somewhat attached to using anger as a tool to motivate people and to protect himself. And he didn’t like to be told what he could or could not do.
“When you’re driving down the road,” I said, “how often do you drive your car into the concrete pillars that support overpasses?”
“I’d be killed or crippled.”
“But doesn’t that bother you, that you’re restricted like that? That you can’t drive anywhere you want to?”
“Of course not, because there are physical laws you have to follow—strictly—if you want to stay safe, to stay alive.”
“Yes,” he said.
“It’s the same with life and happiness. There are laws that govern happiness just as surely as physical laws govern the operation of an automobile. In life you can drive wherever you want—you can make any choice you want—but if you keep the laws, you win, and if you break them you lose. If you’re angry, you’re breaking the irrevocable Laws of Happiness, and you simply cannot be happy. Loving leads to happiness. If we indulge in any behavior that is not loving—including anger—we cannot be happy, and we tend to injure the people around us.”
In the law, there is safety and happiness. Outside the law, we risk everything.