There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. One day, his father gave him a bag of nails and a hammer. The father, then asked the son to hammer a nail into the back of the fence every time he lost his temper going forward
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger a bit, the number of nails hammered daily gradually started
to dwindle down. Soon he discovered, it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence….
Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper. He was thrilled to tell his father about it. As he shared this achievement, the father suggested that he now go ahead and pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.
The day passed and the young boy was finally able to eventually remove all the nails from the fence. He was even more excited this time to share this new achievement with his father. As expected, the father was extremely pleased. He congratulated the son and told him how proud he was for this achievement.
However, the father, slowly led the boy to the fence and se said, “You have done well, my son. I am very proud of you for what you have achieved today! But look at the holes in the fence. They will remain there forever. The fence will never be the same. Similarly, when you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one.
You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. But, a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. Friends and loved ones are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us. Water your relationships with kindness… and they will grow. So be careful little lips what you say… and you won’t chase friendships away.“
The boy now stood silent as he began to understand the value of the lesson his wise father tactfully taught him.
This was a life changing lesson his father just shared indeed. This story is probably not new and you might have read or heard it before. But to me, every time this brings a fresh perspective and each time I am reminded of the side effects of not keeping my anger in control.
(I received this story in an email. I have no information on who the original author of this beautiful story is.)
Question: How measures do you take to control the feeling of anger? What steps do you think are effective in keeping the temperament in check at the time when one feels angry?