Emotions are a dangerous thing. The always want to be satisfied. They only care about themselves.
Recently, Larry King hosted a show on CNN entitled, "Can Inmates Be Reformed?" The real question is, "Can they control their emotions?" Once that question is posed, however, then every man and woman on earth falls under similar suspicion.
Prison is about control. When men do not control their emotions, they commit crimes. When men can not exert self-control, the State assumes responsibility.
I am in prison because I did not control my anger. Other are here because they did not control their greeds, their lusts, their envies. Many more will follow...for the same damned reasons.
Now, when a man comes up for parole, they may ask him, "Are you reformed? Reformed? What the hell is that? A better question would be: "Have you achieved self-control?" Of course, the inmate will answer, "Yes." And though the words may sound hollow, they have significance - they convey a consciousness of the need to control their emotions. After that, it is a matter of proof.
In that way, we all become like the alcoholic who must prove his sobriety daily - free men and inmates, alike. We must prove every moment, and every day of our lives - one moment at a time, one day at a time, one encounter at a time - that we have discipline and self-control. We are reformed only when we are finally and absolutely convinced of the dangers inherent in our emotions, and our need to control them.