To say someone has a temper to rival a volcanic eruption should give people pause.

History buffs know when Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79 it destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. It is considered the world’s most dangerous volcano because beneath Vesuvius is 154 square miles of magma. Today 600,000 people in 18 towns live at the base of this volcano. When Mount Vesuvius erupts, it has the potential to endanger 3 million lives and wipe out the city of Naples.

We all know someone with a hair-trigger temper that explodes on a dime. Just ask any mother coping with a toddler. She will confirm such sudden and unforeseen behavior happens, but we expect toddlers to act out.

Conversely, we hope adults pause before unhinging their jaws and spewing the contents of their troubled brains into the atmosphere.  Temper fits have a variety of triggers, such as frustration and pent up anger. Let’s consider a few examples.

A stressful day at work leaves folks desperately clinging to that last frayed nerve hoping it stays intact until they can escape the confines of the office. However, it only takes the tiniest incident to sever the tether of that nerve, resulting in destructive words.

Most people move from the family home after graduating from high school. Some go off to college, and some find jobs, preferably in a distant city. Many come from unhappy homes, and escape is the only way to survive. Even those from loving families, chafe under the restraints of benign control and affection.

Then there are those who must battle smothering affection, unreasonable parental control, and strict European parents. A triple whammy this writer would not wish upon her best frenemy.

When she wanted to move into an apartment in town, her shocked mother exclaimed, “What will people think?”

“Who cares?”As far as this writer knew, we were not of Oriental heritage which places great emphasis on saving face. The tight parental leash often caused Vesuvius fuse explosion, and more than lava spewed forth. Consequently, this writer did not leave home until she married. She often suspected her family celebrated her marriage for more than one reason.

In the past, most parents believed in the strict upbringing of their children, unlike the laissez-faire or minimal interference policy of parents today. Granted, lack of parental intrusion is easy and the lazy way to shepherd one’s urchins along the path toward adulthood.

But when we look at the results from both the strict and easygoing methods, frustration abounds in the hearts of the children, and tempers flare.

Under the right circumstances, even the most laid back and cheerful person manifests a temper. The cause and severity of the explosion depend on the control a person manages to maintain.

Hubby only lost his temper and yelled when he did not read directions. The resulting consequences made him mad at himself. Like the time he put up three walls of a storage shed and realized he left the side against the fence for last.

Some people are patient and caring toward their friends, but relatives not so much. In fact, they pride themselves on being hobnailed-boots-honest and rarely apologizes for their inexplicable temper eruptions.

Conversations with relatives may start calmly enough, but sometime during the chat, the expletives fly. Both genders are equally guilty of such sudden outbursts. For seemingly no reason, folks with hair-trigger tempers let loose, leaving the carnage of shock and pain in their wake and then move on almost as if nothing had happened — a release valve of sorts.

Throughout our lives, we meet folks who tamed the temper tiger and evolved into a calmer version of their youth. If left unchecked, people will continue their toddler-temper ways throughout their lives unless some brave soul points out that such behavior is unacceptable.

Of course, the Vesuvius types may not listen and continue to explode and spew with reckless abandon until the magma runs dry.







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