Saturday, June 05, 2010

The wooden Bowl

The Wooden Bowl

A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year - old grandson.
The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered.

The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and
failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon onto the floor.
When he grasped the glass, milk spilled on the tablecloth.
The table ended in a mess after his dinner.

The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.
 "We must do something about father," said the son.
"I've had enough of his spilled milk, broken dishes, noisy eating, food on the table and floor."

So the husband and wife set another small table in the corner.
There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner.
Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl.

When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone.
Still, the only words the young couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he dropped  a fork or spilled food.

The four-year-old grandson watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his four-year-old son playing with wood scraps on the floor.
He asked the child sweetly, "What are you making?"
Just as sweetly, the boy responded,
"Oh, I am making two little wooden bowls for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up. Just like the one grandpa has."
 The four-year-old smiled and went back to work.

The words struck the young couple so much that they were speechless.
Then tears started to stream down their cheeks.
Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done.

That evening the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table.
For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family.
And for some reason,
neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, milk spilled, or the tablecloth got soiled.
The grandfather's eyes never shed another tear till his end.  

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles three things:
a rainy day (no money), the elderly, and somebody else's lost luggage.

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.
Love them the maximum you can, still you cannot reach the love that they gave you when you were a child.

I've learned that if you pursue happiness, it will elude you
But, if you focus on your family, your friends, the needs of others, 
do your work truthfully, and with humility, happiness will find you.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.
People love that human touch -- just a friendly pat on the back.

I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.


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