I was working with my class the other day and I was asked do you even get angry anymore? The question took me aback for a moment because I definitely do get angry. In fact my family can tell you I get angry quite bit but my anger is no longer the explosive sort of rage it once was. Once upon a time I could be quite frightening when angered. I'm not a small person by any means and so seeing this incredibly tall guy ranting and cussing and clenching his fists would definitely give someone pause.
However as time has passed I do find that my temper has declined in its sharpness. I no longer feel the need to fly off the handle or pick verbal fights. In fact much of the time I will simply let people insult me, my mother, my country, my honor, and my cat and just walk on shaking my head. We are too eager to fight things these days. We want to overcome, destroy, tackle our problems. We are stuck in the aggressive go get them mode. Either that or we freeze into inaction. Afraid to do the slightest thing lest we upset the status quo and cause ourselves more harm than good. In this mindset we become either complete wimps wanting to be merciful to all things or we become raving warmongering idiots.
As with all things there is a polarity here. Mushy pacifism is just as bad as hardcore militarism. You have to remember an old truism: Choose your battles. Yes you can get angry over all sorts of things. I get angry quite a bit myself, but the difference that my student noticed is that I can choose my actions more easily. We all need to live a more balanced lifestyle and Tai Chi is one of the things that moves me closer to this balance.