As a kid, I used to collect key-chains. I still have over 50-60 of them tucked away in one box which I have not opened since last 5-6 years. Yesterday I got angry at my 6 year old daughter. When I cooled down, I suddenly remembered a keychain I had bought from Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India. I was about 12 years old at that time.

What’s so special about this very old key-chain? Well, the keychain contains a small story. It’s one of the most unique key chains I’ve ever had. Without much ado, the story follows ….


I once knew a boy who was frank by nature but liable to lose his temper quite often.

I said to him one day: “Which do you think is more difficult for a strong boy like you, to give blow for blow and to let fly your fist in the face of a friend who insults you or at that moment to keep you fist in your pocket?”
“To keep it in my pocket,” he replied.

“And which do you think is more worthy of a brave boy like you, to do the easier or the more difficult thing?”

“The more difficult thing,” he said.

“Well then, try to do it the next time you get an opportunity.”


Some time later, the young boy came to tell me … :

“One of my work-mates, who is known for his bad temper, struck me in a moment of anger. Since he knows that normally I am not one to forgive and that I have a strong arm, he was preparing himself to defend himself when I remembered what you had told me. It was harder for me than I thought, but I put my fist in my pocket. And as soon as I did that I felt no more anger in me. I only felt sorry for my friend. So I held out my hand to him. That surprised him so much that he stood looking at me for a moment …. Then he seized my hand, shook it vigorously and said, ‘Now you can do what you like with me. I am you friend forever’.”

1 thought on ““Self-Control”

  1. Sanjay

    Good one Ashish. This is the HOPE. The Key chains, once collected, just as a hobby during the childhood, still comes back justifying & controlling one’s actions after almost 3 decades. We in the process of seeking perfection from our kids, keep nagging & pushing them every now & then, feeling frustrated ultimately for not getting any instant positive outcomes most of the time. But, we need to understand that the positive inputs (guidance, direction, advise) given today (in any form what so ever) is going to strike them hard as much needed realization, when it would matter the most for them…


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