This is a good one. It hit home for me. Hopefully you'll like it too.
Nail In 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 didn't 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 won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there." A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.
Sometimes I am harsh, and more hurtful than I intend. Anger and fear cause some of it. Sometimes it happens because I want to be funny (even at someone's expense). Other times it happens because I want to help someone -- and I choose to be direct -- regardless of how they will "feel it" when I deliver the message.
For the most part, I never intend to leave a "hole". This story was a good reminder to be mindful of cause and intent. Hope it helps.