For the hot-headed man
“Keep this thought handy when you feel a fit of rage coming on – it isn’t manly to be enraged. Rather, gentleness and civility are more human, and therefore manlier. A real man doesn’t give way to anger and discontent, and such a person has strength, courage, and endurance – unlike the angry and complaining. The nearer a man comes to a calm mind, the closer he is to strength.”
– Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 11.18.5b
Be the one in control of your passions, rather than the one controlled by your passions.
This particular passage is a major take away for me, though not a new lesson. While I don’t find myself an angry man, I do find I am often controlled by my passions. This has often hurt me, both personally and professionally. I have destroyed relationships and hurt my reputation by allowing my passions to control me, and the weakness of my insecurities show through for all to see.
This is a struggle for me, and not one can set me off like my kids. For while they hold all my love, they also hold all my fear and weakness. In the end, I feel horrible that I raised my voice or issued a decree in a fit of rage. There are many excuses that I use, some even valid and impacting contributing factors. And while I may return to apologize and attempt to mend that damage done, my reputation and the respect that I crave is destroyed.
I cannot control other peoples actions, I can only control how I respond. Let me show kindness and strength.