The following is a story I came across in my travels. I take no credit for said story, but I will say that I resonated with the moral it held. As a child, I had quite the temper. You wouldn’t know it by being around me, but I was a very angry and fearful son. It wasn’t until later I realized that anger is born from fear; a fear of not being good enough, a fear of being alone, a fear of being wronged. Anger can be a powerful tool if wielded with discipline, but many get lost and blind themselves from ever finding love and happiness. This is the story….
There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.
The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. 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 at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.
The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, “You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the 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. It won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there.”
The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said “I hope you can forgive me, father, for the holes I put in you.”
“Of course I can,” said the father.
It is so easy to get caught up in anger that many times we blind ourselves in an attempt to make things better. Anger can provide us with a short-term release valve for our feelings, but the consequences are anything but. It has been my experience that the best approach to counter anger is patience, and for fear, love. Patience allows us to see through the haze that anger clouds our minds with, and love removes any and all doubts that fear attempts to plant within our hearts. I thank the author, whoever he or she may be, for this story and I hope that whoever comes across this leaves with a little more patience, and a little more love.
May the moon light your path, friend.