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Two good short ones 

On the Bright Side

Below are a couple of stories I've received from friends via email that I'd like to pass on and share with everyone. I don't know who wrote either of them (i.e. that prolific Author Unknown), but the two pieces are good examples of (1) how a simple story can exemplify a fact of life, and (2) how imaginative thinking can solve a problem.    

Nails in the fence 

There once was a little girl who had a bad temper. Her mother gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper, she must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.   

The first day the girl had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. The girl discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence. 

Finally the day came when the girl didn't lose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and her mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper.   

The days passed and the young girl was finally able to tell her mother that all the nails were gone. The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence. 

She said, "You have done well, my daughter, but look at the holes in the fence.  The fence will never be the same; the nails may be gone but the holes are still there." 

She explained further, "When you say things in anger, it won't matter how many times you say 'I'm sorry,' the wound will still be there." 

Every now and then I think we all need to be reminded that a verbal wound can be as bad as a physical one. The best thing, of course, is to think before we speak, and we won't be leaving those holes in anyone else. 

Common sense wins out  

Dilemma:  You are driving along in your car (a small two-seat coup) on a wild, stormy night. You pass by a bus stop, and you see three people waiting for the bus.  One is an old lady who looks as if she is about to die; another is an old friend who once saved your life; and the third is the perfect man (or woman) you have been dreaming about.   

Which one would you choose to offer a ride to, knowing what there could only be one passenger in your car?   

You could pick up the old lady, because she is going to die, and thus you should save her first; or you could take the old friend because he once saved your life, and this would be the perfect chance to pay him back. However, you may never be able to find your perfect dream lover again. 'Tis a puzzlement, eh? 

It is also a moral/ethical dilemma that was once actually used as part of a job application (Bus Stop Riddle). Would you have gotten the job? 

The candidate who was hired (out of 200 applicants) had no trouble coming up with his answer. He simply answered: "I would give the car keys to my old friend, and let him take the lady to the hospital. I would stay behind and wait for the bus with the woman of my dreams."  

Never forget to "think outside of the box."  

© 2021 Marilda Mel White. Mel White, local photographer/writer and owner of Tehachapi Treasure Trove, has been looking on the bright side for various publications since 1996. She welcomes your comments and inspirational stories at [email protected].