Years ago, I found this heartwarming story in an old copy of Reader’s Digest:

There was this American contractor who was posted in Bangladesh. There, he had to supervise a local handyman that the company hired to do repairs on their local office. On one particular day, the handyman came in late due to a massive traffic jam, then his electric drill refused to work, and when he was about to go home his car broke down. Seeing how the handyman probably just had the worst day in his life, the contractor offered to ride him home. Unsurprisingly, the stressed out handyman was silent and looked sullen during the whole ride.

When they arrived at the handyman’s house, he invited the contractor in to meet his family. But before entering the house, the handyman stopped in front of a small tree near the fence and touched it briefly. When he opened the door, he was a changed man. He laughed as he scooped up his two young boys and hugged his wife, and cheerfully introduced them to the contractor.

As he was leaving, the contractor asked the handyman about the tree. The handyman replied that it was his “troubles tree”, and that every time he came home, before entering the house, he would hang up all his troubles there—because they don’t belong in his home with his family. Then he added that when he picked them back up each morning as he went to work, there would be fewer troubles left on the tree.

Guess the moral of the story seems pretty clear, no? The stress, upsets, and problems from my office has no place in my home—home should be a happy place. Oh, okay, I do bring my work home occasionally, but all the annoyances that come with having to do it should stay at the door…

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