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; he soon used up all the nails in anger.

Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, his father asked him to take out a nail every time he was able to control his anger. The son did this for a few weeks and realized that there were fewer and fewer nails every day. Soon, he realized that he had gradually taken out all the nails.

The father then 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, but it won’t matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there.”

So the best option is to think before you talk or act. Think about the consequences of your actions or what you say, the damage it could do to the other person, and how it will make them feel. In short, put yourself in their shoes. Always ask yourself, “If someone said this to me or acted this way to me, how will it make me feel?” When you begin to take these into account, you will think before you act and think before you talk.

Always be kind, compassionate, and, above all, forgive.


  1. Uncontrollable anger destroys so many things. Realising the impact my words have on others was a valuable life changing lesson for me. A lesson I passed on to my family. Thank you for highlighting this.


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