Sunday, February 24, 2008

Anger, Offence, and Vindictiveness

This semester I am back in school! My first real class in many a year. Students' spouses can attend classes for free; how could I pass up such an opportunity? My class is in the counseling curriculum and is about... change. How people change, how we can help people change. We are doing a lot of great reading (Camus' The Plague, Paton's Cry the Beloved Country among others). What a dream class for an English major! We are also spending 1/3 of class time in "guided conversation" with a small group. It's very refreshing, very stimulating. And since I am just auditing this semester, very relaxing as I have no pressure to turn in papers, etc. Next semester I'll take the big girl leap and actually register. Sometimes pressure is good.

This week we are focusing on anger, and one of the assigned articles has this passage from The Brothers Karamazov:

Above all, don't lie to yourself... The man who lies to himself can be more easily offended than anyone. You know it is sometimes very pleasant to take offense, isn't it? A man may know that nobody has insulted him, but that he has invented the insult for himself, has lied and exaggerated to make it picturesque, has caught at a word and mae a mountain out of a molehill - he knows that himself, yet he will be the first to take offense, and will revel in his resentment till he feels great pleasure in it, and so pass to genuine vindictiveness.

Isn't that lovely? Isn't that just so true?

1 comment:

DADvocate said...

It is a brilliantly insightful, and true, statement. One of those paragraphs that beautifully and concisely sums up a part of human nature.