The ScoutingNews Staff is proud to introduce “Words of Wisdom Wednesday” (WWW) to our readers. WWW is composed of anecdotal segments to inspire and supplement a Scout’s personal development, building core values and moral character. An anecdote on WWW is similar to a “Scoutmaster’s Minute”. These anecdotes are intended to be shared with your units. We will strive to publish updates to Words of Wisdom Wednesday weekly.
The Boy and a Bag of Nails
There once was a boy who had a temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him to drive a nail into the fence post every time he lost his temper.
The boy drove 43 nails into the fence the day after. He learned to control his temper over the following weeks as the number of nails being driven into the fence gradually decreased. The boy discovered that it took less effort to hold his temper than to drive nails into the fence.
Eventually, the boy ceased losing his temper altogether. Ecstatic about his achievement, he told his father about it and his father suggested that the boy pulled out one nail for each day that he was able to “keep his cool.” A few more weeks went by, and one day all the nails were finally removed from the once nail-covered fence.
That day his father asked his son to follow him to the fence. When they arrived, his father turned to him and 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 behind scars that are not forgotten. It won’t matter how many times you say ‘sorry,’ the wound is permanent.
The boy then understood how powerful his words were, looked up at his father and said, “I hope you can forgive me for all the holes I’ve created.” His father replied, “Of course I can.”