It is sometimes right, and even necessary, to be angry. He is a coward and a mean selfish person, who is not angry when he sees a wrong done to an innocent man, or a little child beaten and starved by cruel parents, or a dumb animal tortured by brutal men. Anger is sometimes right, and holy. But we cannot find even one good word to say for bad temper. That is always wrong, and generally foolish.
A bad temper is always selfish. A bad-tempered person is very nice if you always let him have his own way. But if you cross him in the smallest thing, he flies into a rage. And then he will act like a mad man and do and say all kinds of unjust and unkind things even to his best friends.
A bad temper is due to a lack of self-control. Even the best men feel vexed and cross sometimes, but they have learnt to control their feelings, and so do not let themselves fall into a passion when people annoy them. But bad-tempered people are the slaves, not the masters, of their feeling. So bad-tempered people are weak and are to be pitied and also despised.
A bad-tempered man is an unhappy man. How can you be happy when you allow every little thing to worry you and send you into a towering passion? They are generally sulky people and are always fancying that others are crossing them, teasing and annoying them on purpose. They think they are the injured people, with everyone against them
And bad-tempered people make everyone else unhappy, too. We cannot enjoy the company of a man whom we can never please, however hard we may try; who gets cross about everything; who can never say a pleasant thing, but is always finding fault with everything we do.
Bad temper, if it is not checked, grows into a habit; and then it is very hard to get rid of it. The cure is to think less of oneself and more of the happiness of others, to practice self-control, and to think more of our blessings and less of our worries. When we feel angry, we must keep our mouth shut and get away by our self till we have mastered our feeling. “When angry, count twelve before one speaks.”