Many years ago, when I first started working, a colleague sent me this story and I’ve held to its tenet dearly ever since.
The Trouble Tree
by Author Unknown
The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farm house had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire had caused him to miss an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pick-up truck refused to start.
As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. When we arrived he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked to the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles; he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.
Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed by the tree and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.
“Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing’s for sure, they don’t belong in the house with my wife and children. So, I just hang them on the tree when I come home in the evening and then I just pick them up again in the morning.”
“Funny thing, though,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick ‘em up, there ain’t nearly as many as I remembered hanging there the night before.”