“Never forget what a man says to you when he is angry. If he has charged you with anything, you had better look it up. Anger is a bow that will shoot sometimes where another feeling will not.” –Henry Ward Beecher from “Life Thoughts,”
Good for old Henry that he lived in a time and place where anger was but one of the accouterments to be rolled out when discourse took a turn; after which it was returned to its unwieldy sheath. Because if he resided in this age of incivility, where debate has been transformed into a verbal judo, his thoughts on anger would not make it beyond his morning shave.
Anger is no longer a retreat, it is an advancement. Anger has lost its impermanence to the idea of winning, no matter the cost. Our language has been retrofitted, as if armored regiments intent on vanquishing the opponent.
Spirited debate has gone the way of inkwells and handshakes.