The distressing story of Albert SG, “the cannibal of Ventas” and what he did to his mother following a hot argument is difficult to retell. The details are so depressing and unnerving. The courts in Spain have ruled and he is to serve his time in prison but like a breath of disturbing air drifting through familiar and unfamiliar channels, the spirit of anger is reminding the rest of us about its capabilities. We are being reminded not to assume too quickly that persons who look so gentle that they cannot hurt a fly, could be carriers of vast quantities of the spirit of anger, and could explode at the slightest push. Also, we are being reminded that with the global pandemic of anger sweeping the world, we should brace ourselves for more shocking displays.
Isn’t it strange that the world, which is fixated on managing the spread of Covid-19 and its multipronged effects; environmental degradation, other biological threats, etc., (as it should) seems not to be paying considerable attention to the anger pandemic? Clearly, an individual with a reasonable amount of spirits can do incalculable damage to the rest of society? Haven’t we seen the relationship between cancel culture and the anger pandemic? Is there any argument as to the fact that cancel culture is still in its infancy? If the morning shows the day, as they say, what might cancel culture look like, in full bloom?
Whatever was the argument between mother and son about that the binding ties holding those vital categories suddenly disappeared and the unthinkable followed? Didn’t the time of nurture in infancy, when she probably suckled him, leave any unmovable imprints in the mind of Albert? Where did any of the memories go?
Because the experience of anger is common to all of us is why we should consider more deeply the core lesson from the sad story of Albert. It used to be said that, ‘you do not know what you are capable of’ but some people argue that they are different from the rest. Like Peter before the Lord Jesus, they insist that others may, but they will not.’ They speak with such confidence that some hearers are almost swayed. But those people who remember that the heart is desperately wicked above all things, maintain their position.
We should not trust ourselves when it comes to managing anger. We should learn all we can, remain humble, and seek professional help, when we notice signs of the ‘spirits maturing within us.’ We should not rationalize or excuse a display of anger? It gets worse from that point. Someone insults you because he/she just does not like your face or something you said or wrote, and your respond by insulting his parents, and family? And you feel okay about your reaction. Perhaps, you tell yourself that you are not the first to react that way. Or maybe you have a group of people urging you on with their comments that you reacted the right way.
Whatever may be the reason or circumstance, the verdict of history remains that uncontrolled anger simply makes things worse indeed.