There once was a young 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. 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, your words leave marks in the hearts of others. You can hurt someone and then apologise many times, but no matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound will still be there.’
How many holes have we left in other people’s lives?
(Submitted by Darrell Henderson)