Editorials by Robert Kirwan

Once A Word Is Allowed To Escape It Can Never Be Called Back
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.

"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 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!


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