Caught this post over by LawDog. And it got me thinking...
There have been many times I've had similar discussions to the one he describes, dealing with people who wish to profess that they could never hurt anyone. That call themselves "pacifist", and claim moral superiority to me, since I am armed and willing to defend myself and those around me.
Oddly enough, they usually end up calling me when there's a "problem" in their life. Funny, that.
I met my monster early in life. It took many years for me to learn how to keep him leashed. Took even longer for me to learn the other part of the control equation...
A couple times in my life, I have sensed that I was about to blow: that the monster was about to slip his leash, and run amok. Realizing that Hell was about to break loose, I leave: no explanations, no dramatic words or gestures. Exit, immediately.
The last time was at an outdoor event with BACA. Tempers had been running high all day, and mine had finally gotten frayed to breaking. I recognized what was about to happen, and left. One of our SSMs ("prospects" to you MC folks) asked me about it a couple days later, and self-rightously denounced me for my "inability to control my temper".
I looked at her for a few seconds, and calmly asked if she always kept herself under control. When she replied yes, I asked about her arrest for disorderly conduct, and some of the other conflicts she'd been involved in. "That's different!", she exclaimed. And I agreed: *I* recognized when my temper was about to slip, and would remove myself from the situation. Whereas she didn't have that self awareness.
Folks, everybody has a bad day. And controlling the monster doesn't just mean keeping it locked down. Being human, it will sometimes slip it's leash. Knowing that it can happen, and being big enough to walk away from the provocation, makes one an adult.
Also know when it's appropriate to release the beast: he's there for a reason. Spend the time to get to know him, learn his ways, and learn to not only restrain him... but control him.