May 05, 2007

As it was sent to me by e-mail - T.

There once was a little boy who had a very bad temper, so his father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he had to hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day, the boy drove 37 nails into the fence. Slowly he discovered that it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he slowly learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered into the fence slowly went down, until finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all.

Now his father said that he should pull out one nail for every day that the boy was able to hold his temper. The days passed, and finally the young boy was able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

Then the father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. "You have done well," he said, "but look at all the holes in this fence. The fence will never be the same. 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; and it won't matter how many times you say you are sorry, the wound will still be there. A verbal wound is just as bad as a physical one. Once you say the words, they can never be unsaid. No matter how many times you say you are sorry, the holes they leave behind will remain."

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