Wherever I walk,
everyone is a little safer because I am there.
Wherever I am,
anyone in need has a friend.
Whenever I return home,
everyone is happy I am there.
Sometimes, I feel the need to remind myself of this. Jack Hoban's account about how this creed came about is worth reading -- and I identify with it all too much and all too often.
For those of us who choose professions or lifestyles where we deal with violence honestly and realistically -- we have a responsibility not to inflict that on those around us. If we're not careful, it's very easy for us to justify being complete assholes -- to become a cancer to those around us. That may mean staying away long to decompress. It may mean simply manning up, and handling our business -- and keeping it to ourselves.
Along a related line, I'm due to reread Kevin Gilmartin's book, Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement. While a lot if it is aimed at cops -- there's definitely value in it for a lot of people in stressful professions and places in their lives. Dr. Gilmartin is a psychologist and a (retired) cop. He knows what he's talking about.