In a small village, a little boy lived with his parents. The boy was quick to anger and taunt others with his words. His bad temper made him use words that hurt others. He scolded neighbors, kids, and even his friends due to his anger and everyone started avoiding him. His parents advised him many times to control his anger and develop kindness. Unfortunately, all their attempts failed.
Finally, the boy's father came up with an idea. The father gave him a bag of nails and asked him to hammer one nail into the fence every time he got angry. The little boy found it interesting and accepted the task. Every time he lost his temper, he ran to the fence and hammered a nail. His anger drove him to hammer nails to the fence almost 30 times the first day.
As the days passed, the number of nails hammered on the fence started reducing. The little boy found it difficult to hammer the nails and decided to control his temper. Gradually the number of nails hammered to the fence reduced drastically and the day arrived when no nail was hammered to the fence.
The boy did not lose his temper that whole day and for the next several days he did not lose his temper. So, he didn’t need to hammer any nails to the fence. Now, his father told him to remove the nails each time he controlled his anger.
Several days passed and the boy was able to remove most of the nails from the fence. However, there remained a few nails that could not be pulled out.
The boy told his father about it. Father appreciated that and asked the boy pointing to a hole
- What do you see there?
The boy replied:
- a hole in the fence.
- Now, do you see what your anger does? - asked the father.
The boy gave a confused look.
So, the father continued
- The nails were your bad temper and they were hammered on people. You can remove the nails but the holes in the fence remain. The fence will never look the same. It has scars all over. Some nails cannot even be pulled out. You can stab a man with a knife and say sorry later, but the wound will remain there forever. Your bad temper and angry words were like that! Words are more painful than physical abuse. Use words for good purposes. Use words to grow relationships. Use words to show love and kindness in your heart.
The boy realized his mistakes and did not repeat them.
Unkind words cause lasting damage. So let our words be kind and sweet.