The Wooden Bowl

I guarantee you will remember the tale of the Wooden Bowl tomorrow,
a week from now, a month from now, a year from now.
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 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, noisy eating, and food on the floor."

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

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

The four-year-old watched it all in silence.
One evening before supper, the father noticed his 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 a little bowl for you
and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled
and went back to work.

The words so struck the parents so 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 soiled.

Children are remarkably perceptive. Their eyes ever observe, their ears ever listen, and their minds ever process the messages they absorb.

If they see us patiently provide a happy home atmosphere for family members, they will imitate that attitude for the rest of their lives. The wise parent realizes that every day the building blocks are being laid for the child's future. Let's be wise builders.

 

On a positive note, I've learned that, no matter what happens, how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles four things: a rainy day, the elderly, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. (amen to this one!)

I've learned that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."

I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.

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, your work and doing the very best you can, 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 even when I have pains, I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day, you should reach out and touch someone.

People love that human touch -- holding hands, a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.

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

I've learned that you should pass this on to everyone you care about.
I just did.


NOTICE AT THE END, THE DATE