Narrative ‣ A nail in the fence

The next time you feel angry and tempted to say something hurtful to someone, pause and reflect on this story—it’s worth remembering.

Once upon a time, there was a boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and instructed him that whenever he felt angry, he should hammer a nail into the fence.

On the first day, the boy hammered 37 nails into the fence in a fit of anger. But as days passed and he learned to control his temper, the number of nails he drove into the fence gradually decreased.

Eventually, the boy found that it was easier to manage his anger than to hammer nails into the fence. And one day, he realized that he was no longer angry.

He told his father about his progress and suggested pulling out one nail from the fence each day to practice patience. Days went by, and eventually, the boy removed all the nails from the fence.

Proud of his son’s growth, the father took him to see the yard. But he pointed out the holes left behind in the fence, reminding his son that the fence would never be the same.

“Just like saying hurtful things in anger, those words leave scars,” the father explained. “You can apologize and try to make amends, but the hurt lingers.”

The little boy understood the impact of his words and apologized to his father for the holes in the fence.

“Of course, I forgive you,” said the father.

This story serves as a powerful reminder of the lasting effects of words spoken in anger and the importance of practicing patience and kindness in our interactions with others.


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