Yesterday, a man was killed for using his cellphone in a movie theatre. Like, actually killed. Not just people grumbling, "Oh my god, please shoot that guy." Someone shot him.
Part of this problem, I think, is our rhetoric. Words of violence tossed around casually: KILL. ME. NOW (about a slow moving traffic jam), can someone please strangle the child having a tantrum in the middle of a mall? All of [shitty locality] should be bombed. If you're a language person, it's likely you'll be more careful about the words you use, insert a "In my opinion," or "seemingly" to distance yourself from the words of hate and anger and violence. If you say, "Please shoot [person annoying me]" often enough, you're sending a message to your brain, over and over again. It's okay to kill people.
Oh come on, I'm not that stupid.
The other half of the problem is the idea of time being money. This is bandied about often enough for it to become a truism. I want to deny it: time is not money. Time you spend working towards making money might be money, but it's still not an active currency. I can't trade you an hour of my life for a new cellphone for example. The worst that will happen if you miss the green light and have to wait a minute is that you'll be a minute late. That doesn't mean Rs 20 is debited from your bank account. Which leaves us at: where are y'all going off to in such a hurry? What's the emergency that makes someone blare his horn at the car in front of him if it's not rolling the minute the light turns green, like some kind of race horse? Who is dying, how much money are you losing that just the idea of waiting, chilling for a second brings upon such teeth-gnashing, pull out a gun and shoot someone in the face anger?
And the third bit of this idea is property. I had a very interesting argument with someone recently who claimed theft could never be a crime. Obviously, I disagreed violently. I mean, I love my stuff, someone who takes my stuff should be jailed, but she said that for her, the only good thing that could be done would be the restoration of her stuff. You get your things back, and why does the person taking it have to be punished further? This argument could be argued till kingdom come, and I'm still not entirely in agreement, but it brings me to the idea of property. When else do we get angry? When we perceive people as invading our space (not the video game, although that would be quite cool). So, the girl bullied on a Mumbai local train by fellow passengers for being in "their" train, Delhi's daily parking wars (mine included), kicking out impatiently at beggars who grab your legs, getting so furious at people for being there.
I'm prone to being short tempered, and god knows, I've had the odd violent urge every now and then (weekly). So angry with stuff that sometimes life is just a blurry mess and I want to rage and be Godzilla, trampling all over the city with rage. I'm trying to let my reasonable brain take over, however, not being a sociopath, I have access to a reasonable brain, and I'm working through anger by analyzing what makes me so mad. Why is this a trigger? Why am I frustrated over things I cannot help? And I find as I think through these things, two things happen--I get much calmer, and much more tired, worn out like a rag doll, but not Godzilla anymore.
The serenity to accept the things I cannot change.