From Chapter 1 of Saint Josemaría Escrivá’s book The Way: Character
Say what you have just said, but in a different tone, without anger, and your argument will gain in strength and, above all, you won’t offend God.
It’s en vogue today to say that we need to have a “dialogue” or “conversation” about an issue. A debate.
But instead of this:
We wind up with this:
A friend of mine recently described a desire for a dialogue this way: “basically they sit you in a chair, shine a light in your eyes and yell at you until you succumb.”
If you watch the news, the comboxes, or social media, it’s hard to disagree.
One of the seven deadly sins is anger. Anger seethes to the surface during our modern “debates” as we take things so personally in this era of grievance politics. We demand respect, but give none.
Napoleon Hill gave the following advice: “When angry, whistle for three minutes before speaking and observe how your anger will take on the quality of reason.”
He also asked “Have you ever tried to be angry while you were smiling? Try it!”
So whistle. Smile. Count to ten. But do whatever necessary in order to keep an even tone and strengthen the reason of your argument.