Affection and the capacity to form lasting bonds are God's greatest blessings to mankind, said Malayaman in a discourse. Among animals, a newborn is given attention, and the mother no longer worries about the grown-ups.
Each successive offspring unseats the previous one in her affection. But human beings are unique. A woman may have a dozen children, but no child is more important to her than another. All of them are equally precious to her.
Tiruvalluvar said love gives us enthusiasm; it makes us generous. The Tamil work, Elaadhi, says the love which a true friend bears for one is unparalleled. A true friend is one who, if his friend is on the death bed, will willingly die with him. A true friend is one who weeps if his friend weeps, he laughs when his friend laughs. And he shares his friend's joys.
He does not hesitate to part with his money when his friend is in need of monetary help. Parting from his friends makes him sorrowful.
But anger can cast a shadow over any relationship. If someone has affection for us, and yet in a moment of anger says unkind words to us, it is the unkind words we tend to remember. All the abundance of affection they bestowed upon us is forgotten. Anger destroys the man who loses his temper. It also destroys his family.
In order to protect himself and for his own good, a person must have control over his temper. A person prone to excessive anger is to be compared to a dead person. His being alive is of no use to himself or anyone else. Buddha said anger is a fire that burns the firewood of virtue.
When someone makes a mistake and offends us, we have one of two choices: we can lose our temper and use harsh words against the person. Or we can gently point out to him that what he has been saying is improper and unkind. But if he still persists, the best thing to do is not to react. To forgive an offender gives us peace of mind. But if we lose our temper and fight back, we lose our peace of mind. Nothing is achieved through anger. But a lot can be achieved through love, and our scriptures show us the value of love.