InspirEmail No 163 - August 17th, 2009
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'

Pounding in and pulling out nails

When I confronted my daughter after she hurt another child with a mean comment, she cried and immediately wanted to apologize. That was a good thing, but I wanted her to know an apology can't always make things better.

I told her the parable of Will, a 9-year-old whose father abandoned his mum two years earlier. Will was angry, and he often lashed out at others with hurtful words. He once told his mom, 'I see why Dad left you!'

Unable to cope with his cruel outbursts, she sent him to his grandparents for the summer. His grandfather's strategy to help Will learn self-control was to make him go into the garage and pound a two-inch-long nail into a four-by-four board every time he said a mean thing.

For a small boy, this was a major task, and he couldn't return until the nail was all the way in. After about ten trips to the garage, Will began to be more cautious about his words. Eventually, he even apologized for all the bad things he'd said.

That's when his grandmother stepped in. She told him to bring in the board filled with nails and instructed him to pull them all out. This was even harder than pounding them in, but after a huge struggle, he did it.

His grandmother hugged him and said, 'I appreciate your apology, and of course I forgive you because I love you, but I want you to know an apology is like pulling out one of these nails. Look at the board. The holes are still there. The board will never be the same. Your dad put a hole in you, Will, but please don't put holes in other people. You're better than that.'

Written by Michael Josephson

Michael Josephson is one of the most sought-after and quoted ethicists. Founder and president of Josephson Institute and its Character Counts project, he has conducted programs for more than 100,000 leaders in government, business, education, sports, law enforcement, journalism, law, and the military. Mr. Josephson is also an award-winning radio commentator. You can subscribe to his regular free Character Counts Commentaries on the website. To view the contact details please visit . . .  Positive Inspirational Links >>>

August's Featured Inspiration

The Perfect Partnership

It was a warm, humid and somewhat overcast Saturday afternoon with just over an hour left to play in the day, as I sat watching from the side line as my eldest son Simon opened the batting for his cricket team. Simon has played cricket for . . . read the story >>>

Not a good time to brag

Two geese were about to start southward on their annual migration, when a frog pleaded with two geese to take him with them. The geese expressed their willingness to do so if a means of transporting the frog could be devised.

The frog though for a few moments and the produced a long stalk of pond grass, then got the geese each to grab an end with their beaks, while he clung to it by his mouth in the middle. And so the three began their journey and whilst flying low over some fields, two farmers below noticed the strange sight.

The men shouted out their admiration for the travel device and wondered who had been so clever enough to discover it. Whereupon the proud and somewhat conceited frog opened his mouth to say, 'It was I,' and promptly lost his grip on the stick falling to the ground and died.

The Moral of the Story - When you have a good thing going, stay focused on the task at hand and keep your mouth shut!

Author Unknown

- Inspirational Quote -

The most unknown, unused and unrecognised tool of the human mind,
is the recognition that attitude is always a choice

Mark Horton

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A monthly positive inspirational story and quote to refresh your spirit and boost the emotional bank account. InspirEmail was first published in November 2005 and each issue can be viewed in the Archived InspirEmail Directory located below the latest issue of InspirEmail

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