#00Buck Posted June 16, 2016 Share Posted June 16, 2016 There is an old saying in Japan. “The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.” My grandfather used to say it all the time. I did a lot of things with nails when my grandfather was around. We demolished things and we built things. He tried to teach me how to hammer a nail in one blow. He would set the nail with a tap and then “bang” the nail would be perfectly flush in the wood without leaving any marks. I tried for years with my little hands to get it right. I got better as I got older but I never got to the point where I could do it the way he did. My grandfather was in his own odd way a non-conformist and that was a strange thing. Japanese people conform as part of their culture. There was no mold you could fit the mean old man into. Grandpa was tough as nails and had a dark sense of humour. He spent his youth in a prisoner of war camp after the government took away everything he owned. My mom was born in that camp. He left the camp at the end of the war with five dollars, a wife, and a newborn. He re-started his life with almost nothing. When he died he was a millionaire. In a lot of ways I’m more like my grandfather than any other members of my family. The lesson of the nail never became clear to me until later in life. I didn’t conform and I’m not sure if it was by choice or by fate. I was the nail that got hammered down. I still remember being picked on and threatened. I knew a fight was coming so I’d just yell at them “come on and hit me!” Still to this day for better or worse I’m the kind of person to stand up when others would rather remain unseen and I’d take whatever was coming. A nail knows it is going to be hit. That is why it exists. I don’t think this is being brave. It is just doing what a nail does. It gets hammered down and when enough nails have stood up and been hammered down you’ve built something. Nails are tough and they are what hold everything together. Without nails a structure would fall apart. I’ve made some pretty amazing things in my life. I couldn’t have done any of it if I didn’t stick out but I don’t think I stuck out because I wanted to. I think it was just in my nature. This post is dedicated to my fellow nails. I know lots of people here stick out not because they want to but because they can’t help it. We should all go out together some time and get hammered… In a good way. 11 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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