This article might also read: "how to be an adult...".
A major problem befalling us in our development as adults is this: the inner child is reluctant to let go of the tight grip on the being that you are. Whilst the 'inner child' will always be a part of you it may not possess you, or else you will be a pseudo-adult acting in childish ways. Many of us seem not to understand this, or perhaps some of us are in denial, and we allow the inner child to play us out in the most wreckless and irresponsible of ways.
All dastardly criminals are manifesting an out of control hurt, and wounded inner child. That's right - criminals (and I mean the confused and/or nasty variety, not the ones who are acting out of necessity) are simply children in adults bodies. There is no responsible adult to take care of this child, or to discipline the little beast, and so he or she comes out, takes over and throws extreme tantrums.
You might look at a gangster, and think - 'golly, that really is a tough guy'. Think again. The person you see is barely a man. He is irresponsible, blaming everything else other than himself, and he has no capacity to control his emotions and make wise choices. He is mistaking the fear he sees in the eyes of others (probably because he is packing a piece) for respect. We don't respect you - we think you are a foolish boy. We are simply intimidated because you have a weapon and an attitude mixed with fear and confusion such that you are unpredictable and dangerous. You ought to be restrained so that we may all go about our business in a civilized society and relax. This gangster - he is wreckless and out of control and will leave a train wreck of human suffering behind him. I ask you: how on earth is this noble? Any counter argument is ridiculous.
So this brings us to the question: what is a real man? Well let me tell you, most conscientiously and determinedly (and I am, as always, prepared to be wrong): A real man is an adult being who takes responsibility for everything he does, everything he says and everything he feels. He supports his peers and protects those who are more vulnerable than he is. He lives by a code of ethics and will never give himself permission to exploit his power for evil. He does not blame any one else, he does not blame people, places, things, times or events for anything he does. Rather, he takes responsibility. No one can make him do anything. He will not take his emotions out on anyone else or anything else - and if he absent-mindedly does so, he will apologise, remedy the situation as best he can, and learn from this experience to be an even better and stronger man. If there is pain and suffering, unresolved childhood experiences which are holding him back from his quest, then he will deal with this baggage in any way that is possible to become the man he is destined to be. He will not live in denial, blame society for why he is so screwed up, and continue on in his merry fucked up way. Put simply - he will deal with it.
So there you have it.
This of course will take a tremendous amount of courage, as what would otherwise hold us back from this commitment is fear.
The fear comes from the inner child who is in pain and has not been soothed by the inner adult man. So what we need to do is build a bridge between the two and reconnect them. If you are a man (or a woman) reading this, you too can connect the inner child with the inner adult. You can soothe him and tell him everything will be okay; that you will do your best to make the monsters go away, but that he needs to be responsible and stop being bad (and there are no excuses).
In this way we become the parent we always wished we had. If we had sub-optimal parents (for whatever reason) then we quit blaming them and start to take responsibility for parenting ourselves. Rein yourself in and stop blaming others for how you are and why you are so problematic. Of course you may seek support in this endeavour, this quest, but do so respectfully as an adult seeking consultancy and assistance; not as a child handing over responsibility and blaming the therapist or doctor (or whoever) for 'pissing you off'. For goodness sake: be a man.
If you feel pain now it is simply because you have been told something which registers a note of truth - or else it wouldn't bother you. So don't take the pain out on the person who tells you this thing - don't kill the messenger. Be a man and learn from the experience. Soothe your pain, feel it to heal it, reassure yourself that 'this too will pass' - and by God it will! Just like waves, pain comes and goes... so just wait for it to go, and hold on to yourself in the mean time. Have faith and don't 'act out' of the pain as this is what children do. Rather, feel it to heal it, hold on, and it will pass and in so doing you have just learned how to deal with pain without reacting. From now on when difficult, painful emotions come up you will be set in greater stead to do what is necessary without taking out your shit on other people, animals, or things.
I am of course, as always, prepared to be wrong and if you wish to argue your case then I am prepared to hear your argument. But if you are going to speak bullshit I will tell you. I will call a spade a spade and not a shovel, because I am a man too - and I don't put up with lies and bull shit.