Today's scripture passage, as I continue to pray for the grace to grow in the virtue of temperance, is Proverbs 29:11.
Proverbs 29:11 “The fool gives vent to all his anger; but by biding his time, the wise man calms it.”
As I read this, I was reminded of the story of Genghis Khan and the rule of 10. My confessor, when I told him that I had lost my patience with my children’s behavior, shared with me the story of Genghis Khan and the rule of 10. He explained how Genghis Khan, when angry, before acting, would count to 10 and if really angry, to 100. He recommended I do the same. I then found the story of Genghis Khan in The Children's Book of Virtues, I was reading to my children. The story is of Genghis Khan traveling with his favorite hawk; he was thirsty from his travels and unsuccessful day of sport. He hoped to find a spring of clear water. He did happen upon some water trickling down over the edge of a rock. Taking his silver cup, he patiently waited while the drops filled the cup; so thirsty he could hardly wait. As he was about to drink, the hawk knocked it out of his hands. He tried several more times to fill the cup and the hawk did the same. The last time, Genghis was so angry that he filled his cup, one last time, and as his faithful hawk came in to knock it again from his hands, Genghis struck it with his sword, and killed it. Genghis then proceeded up the rock, where he had found the water, and found the pool that was its source. “In it was a huge, dead snake of the most poisonous kind.” As it turns out, his faithful friend was trying to save his life, and in his anger, he killed him. “He said to himself, ‘I have learned a sad lesson today, and that is, never do anything in anger.’”
So, my takeaway? When angry, before doing anything, count to 10; if very angry, count to 100. I love the story of Genghis Khan and have read it to my children several times fromThe Children's Book of Virtuesand tried to impress upon them the importance of counting to 10 or even 100. Words and actions done in anger, cannot be taken back and can be most hurtful to all parties involved. So, Proverbs rings very true indeed. “The fool gives vent to all his anger; but by biding his time, the wise man calms it.”
I know my children understood the lesson, because after we discussed it, and I was becoming frustrated, my William said, "Now Mom, remember to count to 10."! :)