I listened to a great Buddhist sermon on TV just now:
once upon a time, there was a father whose son was always getting angry at the smallest things. he just couldn’t control his anger.
one day, the father said to his son, “every time you get angry, hammer a nail into the wall.”
the son was confused, but did as he had been told. several times a day, whenever he got angry, he took a hammer and hit a nail into the wall. soon, his arms were aching and he had gotten thoroughly tired of hammering all those nails.
he saw how ugly the wall had become with all those random nails, and painstakingly removed them all.
his father came and watched him, then pointed out all the holes in the wall that needed to be fixed.
he said something along the lines of, “son, it took you only a few minutes to hammer those nails into the wall, didn’t it? but look how long it is taking you to remove them. and even if you patch up all these holes now, the wall will never look the same.”
i think you all realise what the moral of the story is: anger harms only the one who gets angry…and the damage of angry words, once spoken, can never be undone.