The Wooden Bowl

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.
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 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.

wooden bowl

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.

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.

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.

everyone deserves 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 sometimes.

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.

human touch

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

This is to all of you who mean something to me, I pray for your happiness.

May God richly bless you.


  1. Oh my…..i am bawling my eyes out!! i wish my grandpa was still here to share a meal with me. everything in this story is so true. i am at a crossroads right now in my life…i guess you could say that i am sitting on the fence. i have been in the corporate world 9 years, in sales, and i have had enough of it. i am trying to decide if i should quit my job and follow my dream….i am just so scared…..

    thank you for posting this….i am going to bookmard it!


  2. So powerful. So often we let the little things in life stress us out and we lose the big picture. Thank you for reminding us to enjoy the mess… that’s its’ all part of life.

  3. I loved the wooden bowl story. This just serves as a reminder that we need to remember that our children model our behavior and that from when they are very young we need to serve as role models. I constantly try to remind myself that no one will remember the mess, but all will remember how you conduct your life as well as the little things that you do for your friends and family.

    Thanks for the great post.


  4. I truely will never forget this story…i needed to read this….somehow it changed my way of thinking..just about life in general…thank u!

  5. This is a touching story, a good parable about treating each other with respect regardless of our abilities or stage of life. How you related this story to your life made me think of how I can apply this learning to my own life. Thank you.

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