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Nails in the Fence

October 15, 2012

Relationships are hard. It doesn't matter whether it is a relationship between two siblings, between two workmates, between a supplier and a client, between a doctor and a patient, mother and child or a couple; fact is, as long as it is a relationship involving people, there will always be friction once in a while because naturally human beings are complicated.

I guess even in the animal kindgom there's domez there too.... there's a day I really wished I could hear what some two sheep were "arguing" about..... It is therefore safe to assume that as long as you are breathing mis-understandings and disagreements will always happen, regardless of whether it is at home or at the office, until one is finally laid to rest 6-feet under, or sprinkled on the indian ocean; I'm sure you get my drift.

Question is, how do you handle your displeasure? How do you conduct your arguments? What words do you use? After the argument, do you ever sit back and probably regret anything that you might have said in anger? I ask this because I know for a fact that when one is angry, the likelihood of having the best speech you'll ever regret is very high....

I'd like to share a little story I borrowed from another blog. You might have read it before but it won't hurt to read it a second time; you never know, you might have missed something the first time you read it..... here goes:


There once was a little boy who had a bad temper.  His father was very concerned for his son’s future and thought hard about how he could explain to his son why relationships are so important and controlling his temper is a key factor in this.
After much thought his father gave him a bag full of nails and told him,  “Every time you lose your temper, hammer a nail into the back of the fence.”  His son did not understand but knew that his father was wise so he agreed.
On the first day that the boy received his bag of nails he ended up driving about  37 nails into the fence.
Each day he learned little by little to control his temper. 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 was very proud of himself and went to share his good news with his father.  His Father was very proud of him and offered a challenge to his son.  “Why don’t you pull out a nail everyday that you are able to hold your temper?”
As there were many nails in the fence it took the boy sometime to finally remove the nails from the fence.
But eventually that joyous day arrived.  He was so pleased with himself and he wanted to share this with his father.
His father was so proud of his son, but he wanted him to understand that holding his temper was more than just being able to add or remove nails from a fence.  He took his son’s hand and showed him all the holes that were left from the nails.  
As you see my son, this fence will never be the same, the fence is scarred with holes from your temper.
Think of these holes as the words you have spoken in anger, the wounds you have left in people’s lives.
Words really are like weapons they leave a wound, that does not heal easily.  Son, your family and friends will  make you smile and encourage you to succeed,  they will lend an ear,  share words of praise and they always want to open their hearts to us.  Always remember the fence before you speak words of anger.
What a wise father this man was! He left a lesson not just for his son, but for the rest of us too.
It is inevitable that as long as we are on this earth, as long as we are interacting with other human beings on a daily basis, there is always a risk that someone will annoy you. How you decide to react at that point depends on you.
The next time you are tempted to answer someone in anger, review your words and establish whether or not they will break or make. To borrow the words of Joanna Gommans, "Let your words heal and not wound..."



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