Many times we, as flawed human beings, make a personal
comment, or react to a situation in anger, only to wish we could take back
our words or say what we really wanted to say in a different manner? Human
beings are, by nature, confrontational animals. We like to get in the last
word! We are quick to strike back with a negative comment when we are
angry or when we are insulted! We donít like to sit back and take
criticism! Many times, our verbal attacks make us feel good for the
moment, but then we feel a sense of remorse and regret afterwards when we
realize that what we actually said may have inflicted great pain on those
around us. Consider the valuable lesson about life a father taught his son
in this little story and see if there is a lesson for all of us.
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
Finally, the day came when the boy didnít 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 wonít matter how many times you say Iím sorry, the
wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."
Remember the lesson that the young boy learned. "It wonít
matter how many times you say Iím sorry, the wound is still there. A
verbal wound is as bad as a physical one."
This is a lesson that must be taught to all of our children, but it is
also one we must learn ourselves as adults. And those we hurt are usually
the people closest to us. So next time you find yourself about to react
with a verbal attack on someone you love, or someone you work with,
remember that words, once allowed to escape can never be recalled. Make
sure that what you say will not leave a wound for life.
Have a good day!