The Armor of a Smile
Mrs A was angry. Her eyes snapped, her voice was shrill, and a red flag of rage was flying upon each cheek. She expected opposition and anger at the things she said, but her remarks were answered in a soft voice; her angry eyes were met by smiling ones; and her attack was smothered in the softness of courtesy, consideration, and compromise.
I feel sure Mrs. A had intended to create a disturbance, but she might as well have tried to break a feather pillow by beating It as to have any effect with her angry voice and manner on the perfect kindness and good manners which met her. She only made herself ridiculous, and in self-defense was obliged to change her attitude. Since then I have been wondering if it so, if shafts of malice aimed in anger forever fail harmless against the armor of a smile, kind words, and gentle manners. I believe they do. And 1 have gained a fuller understanding of the words, “A soft answer turneth awav wrath.’ Until this incident, I had found no more in the words than the idea that a soft answer might cool the wrath of an aggressor, but I saw wrath turned away as an arrow deflected from its mark and carne lo understand that a soft answer and a courteous manner are an actual protection. Nothing is ever gained by allowing anger to have sway. While under its influence, we lose the ability to think clearly and lose the forceful power that is in calmness. Anger is a destructive force; its purpose is to hurt and destroy, and being a blind passion, it does its evil work, not onlv upon whatever arouses it, but also upon the person who harbors it. Even physically it injures him, impeding the action of the heart and circulation. affecting the respiration, and creating an actual poison In the blood. Persons with weak hearts have been known to drop dead from It, and always there is a feeling of illness after indulging in a fit of temper. Anger is a destroying force. What all the world needs is its opposite—an uplifting power. Proverbs 15:1.