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Temper control

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was talented, creative, handsome, and extremely bright. A natural leader. The kind of person everyone would normally have wanted on their team or project. But he was also self-centered and had a very bad temper. When he got angry, he usually said, and often did, some very hurtful things. In fact, he seemed to have little regard for those around him. Even friends. So, naturally, he had few. “But,” he told himself, “that just shows how stupid most people are!”

As he grew, his parents became concerned about this personality flaw, and pondered long and hard about what they should do. Finally, the father had an idea. And he struck a bargain with his son. He gave him a bag of nails, and a BIG hammer. “Whenever you lose your temper,” he told the boy, “I want you to really let it out. Just take a nail and drive it into the oak boards of that old fence out back. Hit that nail as hard as you can!”

Of course, those weathered oak boards in that old fence were almost as tough as iron, and the hammer was mighty heavy, so it wasn’t nearly as easy as it first sounded. Nevertheless, by the end of the first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fenceΒ (That was one angry young man!). Gradually, over a period of weeks, the number dwindled down. Holding his temper proved to be easier than driving nails into the fence! Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He felt mighty proud as he told his parents about that accomplishment.

“As a sign of your success,” his father responded, “you get to PULL OUT one nail. In fact, you can do that each day that you don’t lose your temper even once.”

Well, many weeks passed. Finally one day the young boy was able to report proudly that all the nails were gone.

At that point, the father asked his son to walk out back with him and take one more good look at the fence. “You have done well, my son,” he said.Β “But I want you to notice the holes that are left. No matter what happens from now on, this fence will never be the same. Saying or doing hurtful things in anger produces the same kind of result. There will always be a scar. It won’t matter how many times you say you’re sorry, or how many years pass, the scar will still be there. And a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. People are much more valuable than an old fence. They make us smile. They help us succeed. Some will even become friends who share our joys, and support us through bad times. And, if they trust us, they will also open their hearts to us. That means we need to treat everyone with love and respect. We need to prevent as many of those scars as we can.”

A most valuable lesson, don’t you think? And a reminder most of us need from time to time. Everyone gets angry occasionally. The real test is what we DO with it.

If we are wise, we will spend our time building bridges rather than barriers in our relationships.

Author Unknown

{ 130 comments… add one }
  • Jayson November 2, 2012, 4:08 am

    Another great story from this site! Though I’m not that hot temper type like in the story, but it adds me constructively to be calm at all times.. Yes I have sometimes a situation where in people done very irritable things to me but then I stayed calm. Don’t know why, I just always remember that there’s no good things you can get from being mad or hot tempered..

    Thumbs up to this story.

  • Tshering October 11, 2012, 6:55 am

    This story is true in my life. I have hurt my girlfriend. I am trying to pull the nails but I am sad that the holes will remain forever.

  • Rita October 8, 2012, 10:03 pm

    I wish the father taught him the lesson when the boy was small. I am sure the signs were there way before, still the lesson was very valuable not just for the boy but to all. Thanks.

  • Cristina October 4, 2012, 9:14 pm

    I really like the story. You can view the story in many ways. The other view is what I encountered right now. I am in the state of controlling my temper because there are people that trying to pull me down. I always ignoring them because I know that my conscience is clean. It’s up to them if they want to live life full of negativity. I believe that whoever encounters like this is the one who progress and happy.

  • Leslee September 13, 2012, 2:25 am


  • Loruel September 6, 2012, 5:52 pm

    Who is the author of this wonderful story?

  • Rosy September 4, 2012, 5:53 am

    Words can be like knives.. so always be careful with your words.

  • Chandu September 1, 2012, 11:07 am

    Really itz inspirable….. and the story is very nice…..

  • Saras August 22, 2012, 8:02 am

    Thank you….

  • Sruthi August 21, 2012, 5:30 am

    Nice story.

  • Simran August 12, 2012, 7:11 am

    Very nice story….:) πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Sultana August 9, 2012, 11:41 pm

    It’s a very nice story. It will help me to control my anger.

  • Kingsley kanayo July 28, 2012, 1:10 pm

    The story really touched my heart when I read it. I’m the type that easily gets angry, I srongly believe that I’ve learnt something from it, thanks a lot.

  • Musungu July 25, 2012, 5:28 am

    This is a good moral story and so helpful. It will make me calm when I am stressed up and suppossed to make major decisions.


  • Sridevi July 23, 2012, 6:26 am

    Very nice story.

  • Aminu Tawfick July 16, 2012, 9:54 am

    I like the story very much! It is related to the profession that I chose. As a teacher, I should control my temper because if not, what my tongue said would leave to students forever. Hope other teachers would read this!

  • Priti Sharma June 18, 2012, 1:46 pm

    The same problem happens with me as like the boy in the story.

  • Camilia June 17, 2012, 11:59 am

    Anger is a wind how stops the lamp of the brain.

  • Rajkumar Patil June 2, 2012, 11:59 am

    It is much needy to build nice human

  • Geoffrey Byamukama May 20, 2012, 11:06 am

    Leaders should read this story. It helps to control your emotions in difficult times.

  • Basma May 17, 2012, 1:28 am

    This story is very intresting …..

  • Vaqas May 2, 2012, 12:05 am

    It is very inspirational and motivational story. Such story leads us to control our anger.

  • Revs April 24, 2012, 11:49 pm


  • Ashutosh mohle April 23, 2012, 10:56 pm

    Great story indeed…

  • Oludare April 23, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Great story… keep up the good work.

  • Lilsta April 19, 2012, 9:54 am

    Its a beautiful story… i am posting it on my page collection from a heart to heart ^_^ hope it will be able to change some people if not all… thank you

  • Asad Tajammul April 8, 2012, 10:11 am

    Mind blowing story!!!!!

  • Samreen Tajammul April 8, 2012, 3:51 am

    Great! Nice way to teach the kids… really interesting. Love it!!!

  • Ashely April 5, 2012, 6:28 pm

    So true….

  • Syed Suheel March 4, 2012, 10:15 am

    Few words with big meaning…

  • Muztaba February 10, 2012, 9:51 pm

    I like the story which is very important for todays teenagers …..

  • Udit January 24, 2012, 1:32 pm

    Anger indeed takes it all….! It is better to control anger before it is too late. Nice story.. πŸ™‚

  • Sindhu December 6, 2011, 8:34 am

    It’s really a good story! Awesome

  • Cecil Luther November 20, 2011, 12:19 am

    Wonderful, Awesome

  • Isha November 10, 2011, 5:17 am

    really i should try it

  • Aksahy Raj November 8, 2011, 1:43 am

    Nice story………..

  • Hemanth September 21, 2011, 5:59 am

    Nice story.. Too much Control of temper sometimes leads to Fear in future

  • Rajesh August 30, 2011, 4:54 am

    Superb story. I will always remember this story in my life and try to control my temper.

  • Obus August 29, 2011, 6:31 pm

    Sure, this story has actually opened my eyes to the truth about anger, sorry doesn’t cure all wounds caused by anger so i have to keep that anger in check when next it comes around me. Thanks a bunch for this.

  • UMESH August 28, 2011, 11:04 pm

    Gud one.
    Anger is a one thing which we should have control on it. We should not allow anger to control ourselves.

  • aditya August 19, 2011, 9:30 am

    Very nice story I liked that very much

  • Ricky Boy August 4, 2011, 8:17 pm

    yeah, me too… I’d also relate on these story I am hot temper kind of person also. thankz to the person who uploaded this story. πŸ™‚

  • Manish Jain July 16, 2011, 1:46 pm

    One should read this and try it out. It really works!.

  • Chona Gamboa (Philippines) July 9, 2011, 1:09 am

    This short story is very inspirational. These are the kind of stories that people must have time to read and reflect. Because we are too busy with our career and work that we somehow tend to forget that we still need to meditate among ourselves and continue learning by reading such as this.

    This is the website I am using to get inspiration stories for a news letter where I currently am working as a Training Officer and it helps a lot……..


  • Aboah Kofi James July 8, 2011, 10:13 am

    I like this story and I believe those who read will learn a lesson from it. God bless the writer.

  • bala July 7, 2011, 11:29 pm

    Excellent Exotic monsoon story!

  • Prasanna June 30, 2011, 1:46 am

    The story was really nice…. I like it πŸ™‚

  • A.Sudha June 24, 2011, 8:31 am

    This is a very nice story, I hope my daughter will get prize in a story telling competition. I have choosen this story. It helps not only kids but also elders. Thank you very much for giving us such a nice story.

  • Salman June 24, 2011, 1:52 am

    Nice message to others to bring change in life…

  • Gurwinderball June 20, 2011, 11:51 pm

    This story was amazing…………………….. and fantastic.

  • gunburmawan June 12, 2011, 8:34 am

    So nice…
    God bless you…

  • Silvia Sharma June 10, 2011, 7:49 am

    Hello……I read your story….I really very nice…..Thanks a lot for giving us a wonderful knowledge……:)

  • mahesh kumar May 25, 2011, 10:04 am

    Really Good story…..

  • Naveen May 20, 2011, 7:38 am

    Amazing ……really very good one……

  • shoaib May 9, 2011, 12:12 am


  • manali April 28, 2011, 3:32 am

    Simply too good!!! It is all the way related to me, I am very short tempered…!!! I will surely try to implement this.

  • vinod kumar singh March 18, 2011, 1:02 pm

    These short story will definately help us to control our nerve . may many people read and implement it

  • Seshu March 16, 2011, 4:02 am

    Really wonderful somewhat it relates to me also as i am very bad tempered, but this story has somewhat made me think to change myself.

  • cmmudkavi March 15, 2011, 2:16 am

    Nicely narrated story to arrive at a teaching which helps growing children to remember not to lose temper at any time of their life. Calmness and politeness reward suitable gifts to them.

  • Adnan March 14, 2011, 3:26 am

    So true and practical !!

  • krishna February 16, 2011, 9:34 pm

    Really a good one. I will narrate it to my students today in school.

  • Emmanuel olushola Aloge February 16, 2011, 4:05 am

    The impression we create today tells more about who we are and our being reasonable to adapt to good morals goes a long way to make us men and women of great value. I am happy to have come across this site

  • Mr. Vishal Jadhav February 1, 2011, 4:43 am

    Look before you leap. I personally never get angry.

  • kirthi November 9, 2010, 11:33 am

    it was realy nice and very meaning full one.

  • Shikha October 27, 2010, 12:12 am

    I have no words to say thanks to u, I have this problem of saying rubbish during my anger outburst and off course I regret and remorse later but it does not save me to repeat it again when triggered. I will remember this story always. God bless.

  • Sharmishtha October 10, 2010, 1:04 am

    I like the story very much as I too loose temper very easily and I am damn sure dat people who read it once will defenitely come wid fruitful results in controlling their temper. Thanks a lot!!!

  • Nazariy from Ukraine September 15, 2010, 1:58 pm

    It is very good story! But it is so hard to change a temper when the stupid neighbour from the lower floor is smoking.

  • Yean Thoong August 7, 2010, 3:24 am

    Very true~ =’C

  • Sri July 11, 2010, 8:00 am

    The story is simply superb. I recommend readers to take in the complete value that the story focuses and practice it everyday.

  • Shubhanand June 29, 2010, 6:51 pm

    Simply superb

  • Uzaiba June 7, 2010, 4:18 am

    I like the story very much as students we must control our temper in front of our teachers and as high leaders of school too.

  • Ayush December 28, 2009, 2:03 pm

    Actually, i think this story is connected to me bcos i m very hot temper. I must try this nail-fence way. May b i control myself.

  • Gift Major September 20, 2009, 2:52 am

    This story is very apt and relevant to everyday living. Every human being needs to read it and adhere to its message of self control when we are angry as it will make the world a beautiful place to live in.

  • Lustypups May 14, 2009, 5:20 am

    This story is a fantastic way to explain how things said in anger can leave their mark just as much as a kick or punch. Working with children everyday is full of situations that require tales just like this.

  • Ms. Erika M. Calaranan February 15, 2009, 7:39 am

    I like the story very much! It is related to the profession that I chose. As a teacher, I should control my temper because if not, what my tongue said would leave to students forever. Hope other teachers would read this!

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