The first day the boy hammered 37 spikes into the fence. Over the next few weeks he began learning to control himself, and the number of spikes he had to hammer diminished day by day. He had discovered that exercising self control was a lot easier than hammering spikes.
Finally the day arrived when the boy didn't hammer any spikes into the fence.
He went to see his father and told him that he hadn't had to nail any spikes that day at all. His father told him to pull a spike out of the fence every day he didn't lose temper.
Days passed, and finally the boy was able to inform his father that all the spikes had been removed. The father walked with his son over to the fence and said:
"My son, you have done well, but look at all the holes in the fence. It will never be the same as it was before.
"When you fight with someone and say terrible things, you create wounds just like these holes. You can stick a knife into someone and then pull it out, but the scar will always be there. No matter how many times you say you're sorry, the scar will remain."
"You don't live on what you eat, but only on what you digest. This is true for your mind as well as for your body."
- Benjamin Franklin