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Bad Temper

Jun 1, 2004
There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, to hammer a nail in the back fence. The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Then it 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 person 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. Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, they share a word of praise, and they always want to open their hearts to us.
Jul 13, 2004
Anger is so bad. Even the most pious do not realise that they should watch their speech. Even Guru ji tells of how sinful slander is:

Slander me, slander me — go ahead, people, and slander me. Slander is pleasing to God's humble servant. Slander is my father, slander is my mother. If I am slandered, I go to heaven; the wealth of God's Name abides Within my mind... The slanderer is drowned, while I am carried across (sggs 339). No one believes what the slanderer says. The slanderer tells lies, and later regrets and repents. He wrings his hands, and hits his head against the ground. God does not forgive the slanderer (sggs 1153).

See: for a whole page on slander.

Since we are on the topic, what methods do you use to control your anger? When I feel a swear coming on, I calm myself down and let it out with an alternate word i.e. certain words I would exchange to figs and sugar etc.
When I am feeling really angry I try to think of God or recite a hymn or God's name, or I try to focus on his form. Sometimes I may just take a deep breath instead. Or if someone is shouting at me I refuse to talk to them until they talk to me in a rational manner or walk away. Please share as we can all learn new methods to combat anger and I would like to learn new anger-management skills and improve on the ones I have.

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