Rock's Blog

A Nail Once Driven

Here is a story I wrote about a young boy, his wise father and a lesson. A man had several young children, one of whom could be quick to anger. He often criticized and verbally attacked his brother and sister, and others when he got angry. He sometimes said some pretty awful things to them during those times.

One day after observing one of these events, the father told his son to go to the garage, get a hammer and the can of nails off the workbench, then meet him in the dining room. When his son came back from the garage he was instructed to hammer three of the nails into the middle of the table. He was told to not drive it flush, but leave some of each nail showing.

The boy was shocked at what he was asked to do,

but his father was clear and firm in his instructions. He left the room and told his son to come see him when finished.

Now this was a very beautiful table that he and his dad had spent many happy hours together creating. They had designed the table, searched for and selected the special wood, built the table, sanded it step by step, and applied many coats of hand rubbed oil with great care to achieve a satin like finish. Yes, they had created this beautiful table together . . . and it was special.

It only took him a minute to drive the nails and damage what had taken so long to create. He then went to his dad to say he had driven the nails. His dad instructed him to now return to the table and remove the nails. He was already angry at having to hammer the nails, and this made him even more angry … but he went to work, and after awhile he was finished. Again, he went to his dad saying he was finished.

When they returned to the dining room and looked at the table, his dad asked him what he saw. The son responded “what was a beautiful table, with ugly holes in it and a lot of wasted effort .”

His Dad said:

words are like nails – once driven, even though removed, they leave a permanent mark.

Now you can go to work, fill the holes the best you can and refinish the table. This will take a great deal of careful work but it can be done. This table will never again be exactly the same as it once was, because the scars will remain. The quality of the repair will depend entirely upon your efforts.

If you choose to invest enough time and care, the damage can be healed, those scars will fade and your efforts will produce beautiful results. Let that table be a reminder to be ever thoughtful about what you do with nails!

The boy in the story had thought only of himself in the past. He had seldom considered the consequences of his words and actions.When confronted, he defended his actions and then blamed others. His world was all about him.

Everyone has done some version of this . The important questions to consider are:

  • How often do I do this?
  • How damaging and hurtful are the nails I have driven? Do I even have clue?
  • Have I done it to myself? Am I still doing it?
  • Do I learn from my mistakes and make corrections?
  • Do I sincerely endeavor to clean up my mistakes?

Your interpretation of this story, and what you choose to do about it, is entirely up to you!


Leave a Comment (0) ↓