Two men are fighting - shortly into the fight it is obvious that the shorter of the two is the dominant. After trading blows for a few minutes he takes his opponent to the ground and stands over him; one hand tightly wrapped-and-clenched with a bunched-up portion of the larger man's collar, and the other drawn back in a fist. Similar to the motion of drawing back a bow-and-arrow before firing the smaller man holds the pose for what seems like an eternity. His firing arm shakes a great deal as the two combatants lock eyes; a pause ensues within which the dominant's orbs seem to ignite as he rhetorically asks and then answers his own question aloud through clenched teeth....
Question: Why are you weak?
Answer: Because you lack hatred.
Anger can be one of the most dangerous of emotions. It dances with wolves in that it's one of the more primal emotions humans posses. Most predatory/carnivorous animals survive on anger; their fighting over territory, dominance, or food generally comes down to which of the creatures desires the in question more. Which is the most driven to be alpha, which is most susceptible to testosterone flares, or which is the hungrier (respectably). Granted that size and physical ability are the other variables that play a role of course.
The trick with anger is learning how to siphon it rather than just giving into the blind rage. The redwall (or seeing red) is often where people are at their most dangerous, operating much like rabid animals there are no morals or restraints when under this effect. The offspring of a manic-depressive, alcoholic father I've struggled with this my entire life. Surrounding myself with carefree people and taking after them has helped alot.
So when did I realize I was a danger to myself and others because of anger?
First, a History of Violence
When I was 13 my parents got divorced. My dad moved into a trailer-park behind the local wal-mart. On weekends me and my 3 siblings would visit and hangout with the local kids. Our favorite game took place multiple times a day, we'd gather in the cul-de-sac circle of grass and build teams. The teams would then all fight until members from either team tapped out. "no strikes to the face or balls and no weapons" were the only rules (which occasionally were broken). The fun in it was each person had a different style and after a while you got to learn each neighborhood kid's preferred fighting style. Strikers, wrestlers, opportunists and bulldogs. My younger brother was a bulldog, at age 11 he preferred to be matched up against the 11 and 12yr old brothers Thomas and Marcus by himself. His best friend richie was a striker and merely 8 yrs old I often found myself the recipient of one of his brutal haymakers, NEVER have I met a kid who could swing a punch like Richie Scacheri. I had always been a defensive/wrestler type, disliking the striking game because i was scrawny for my age and afraid to hurt someone else in an angry rage (my father had beaten that out of me at a young age, infront of my siblings so they were spared making the same mistake). So while my brother and his friends could all build rage and swing kick and fight without abandon I slowly faded from the spotlight in our circle-fights.
I preferred to wait until someone came at me and then counter their advance as best i could before putting them down.
One day we were all standing around the mailboxes hitting rocks with baseball bats and these three kids from other-side of the trailer park came riding through on their mountain bikes. My brother had always been an instigator, so when he told one of the kids he looked like a girl i thought nothing of it. The kids threw back some retort i can't recall and then rode off. We all broke off for lunch; and after lunch i remained inside to watch cartoons. Hours later they returned and began circling my brother and his before-mentioned friend richie scacheri. These kids were my age and there were three of them, my brother was 11 at the time and his friend richie only 8. I saw trouble brewing and made a point to go outside and join up with my brother and his friend. After my arrival the kids began to ride off; my brother wasn't satisfied and so he said something ( again i fail to recall). The kid he had called a girl quickly whipped his bike around and began pedaling as hard as he could towards my brother. Showing no signs of stopping I could almost physically feel the reprimanding i would get if i allowed my brother to be run down. I became angry with my brother for putting me in this situation as I was not the one being attacked and yet i had to be involved (this has never been my nature). I didn't know what my next move was and just as the rider was about to collide with us I reflexively threw all of my weight foreward and extended my arms. I caught his handlebars and squeezed both brakes, i slid back a few inches across the sandy pavement as the bike came to a stop, as it lost momentum i felt the seriousness of this kids assault begin to cause a "seeing-red" effect. I wrenched his handlebars and throw him and his bike to the ground. I walked off to cool off and the kid retreated home with his tail between his legs and his friends riding beside him.
While the story isn't drastic by any means it is significant for me personally because I learned/felt the danger of allowing my anger to control me. So I urge anyone out there to strive for a moment such as this one; not for me but for yourself. Being able to channel and control your fury rather than have it control can only benefit you in the long run. It seperates the inmates from guards (though, barely sometimes).
In my opinion being able to control anger to the point where it is appropriate to be let loose is an infinitely valuable skill.
This is Madness??!?