[February 15, 2023] All the great men I’ve known had a remarkable capacity for controlled aggression. That aggression was closely contained so they could use it carefully when needed. And in doing so, they gave them dignity, which made others around them respect them.
Many suspect those men were tough, experienced, intelligent military men, but that is not the case. I’ve seen this in men in various occupations, usually in organizations that demand a high level of commitment and sophisticated skills; health care (surgeons), steel manufacturers, police and emergency services, high-rise construction workers, and the like.
Integrating that aggression is a much better method to make a better man than repressing it out of existence. All of these men knew exactly where they were headed in their lives. And they were all on a noble path that involved doing difficult things for others. An early example in my life was working with electrical linemen who worked in the most extreme weather to restore power to their communities under emergency conditions. They were the toughest and most dedicated men you can imagine.
These men were oriented to a difficult, specific goal and required courage (imagine working on a utility pole, 40 feet up, in a driving rain storm, and repairing a 12,000-volt transmission line). Unlike an impulsive violent criminal path, a high goal requires discipline and strength.
They all told me that they chose the most difficult jobs they could find. They wanted to be someone others could depend upon when the going got rough. They were much more productive than most of us can imagine because they were fantastically disciplined.
We all have the potential for aggression within us, and that has the possibility of making the world more like hell or more like heaven. To the degree that we can have the courage and faith to manifest that aggression in a positive way, then we push everything in a positive direction. And that is not some naïve positive direction where everyone is always nice to each other.
This is the direction that great men help move the world forward; feed people, cure diseases, bring water and electricity to homes, take care of children, and keep evil in check. And the world would have a hole in it without such people.
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