The Wooden Bowl

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

The family ate together at the dining table. But the elderly grandfatherís shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon on to the floor. When he lifted the glass, milk spilt on the tablecloth.

His son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess. "We must do something about father," said the son. "Iíve had enough of his spilt 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 their dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfatherís direction, sometimes 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 spilt his 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 that they were speechless. Tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening the husband took Grandfatherís 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 spilt or the tablecloth soiled.

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

Iíve learnt that, regardless of your relationship with your parents, youíll miss them when theyíre gone from your life.

Iíve learnt that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.

Iíve learnt that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

Iíve learnt 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.

Iíve learnt that whenever I decided something with an open heart, I usually made the right decision.

Iíve learnt that every day, you should reach out and touch someone. People love that human touch ó holding hands, a warm hug or just a friendly pat on the back.

Iíve learnt that I still have a lot to learn.

Courtesy: bharti today
(The in-house magazine of Bharti Enterprises)
Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2003


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