Archive for March 21st, 2009

Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others. — Socrates

Are you one of those people who lets any hurtful thing fly out of your mouth when you get angry? Very early in life I learned the impact words have on others. As a result, I have never wanted to hurt others with my words and am very careful about what I say. However, I noticed that a lot of people did not get that lesson. Or maybe they just don’t care about what they say, or try to excuse it by saying they were angry. What gives anyone the right to say or do anything hurtful to another just because they are angry? Whatever happened to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” I know that sometimes it takes more effort than others to keep your mouth shut and not say things you’ll later regret — but it can be done. All you have to do is think of the impact your words will have on another. But then again, for some, when they are angry, hurting others is the point. Is it worth it in the long run? Here’s a story about anger that I think is worth sharing:

Nails in the Fence

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. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.”


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