Tuesday, April 27, 2010


A father had a little boy who he loved very much, but who had a poor temper and sometimes acted rashly. One day he gave his son some nails and told him that when he lost his temper to go hammer a nail into their fence. The first day that fence received 22 nails. As the boy learned to control his anger the number of nails hammered into the fence daily decreased. He discovered that it was easier to control his temper than to drive the nails. The day came when he didn't pound any nails at all. His father then told him to pull one out each day he held his temper. Weeks passed and finally the boy announced that all the nails were gone. The father said, "Well done! But, now take a look at the holes. That fence will never be the same. If you put a knife in a man and draw it out, it doesn't matter if you apologize. The wound remains."

My note: At times I've been hurtful. Not thinking things through can cause this. Also fear. Sometimes it's occurred when I've tried to be funny at someone's expense. Other times it's happened when I actually wanted to help and was too direct. Please forgive me if I've ever left a hole.


  1. Thank you for this wonderfully moving story, Todd. It's a powerful way to illustrate a sad truth about human existence--we hurt people, often unintentionally, and sometimes the holes don't close. Much love to you, Callie

  2. That is a thoughtful post. I'm probably preaching to the choir here, but--Most definitely it's easier to say "sorry" than to change one's behavior. AND, it takes consistent and persistent demonstration of the change in us (even if we don't get credit very often) for our apologies to have any weight. That being said, recognition and willingness to change is a true beginning. --Gumby


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