An elderly man moved to live with his son, daughter-in-law and his 4-year-old grandson. His hands were shaking, eyesight was poor and he was hobbling. The family sat together at the same table to eat. However, the grandfather’s old and shaking hands and his poor eyesight made this process difficult. Peas would fall from the spoon, milk would spill on the tablecloth, when he held the glass in his hands.
His son and daughter-in-law were getting more and more disturbed by this.
_We need to do something about this,-said the son,-I’ve had enough of the way he eats so noisily, the milk he spills every time, and the food spilled on the floor.
The spouses decided to put a small table in the corner of the room away from the common table. The old man was to eat there all alone, while the other members of the family enjoyed their meal together. After the grandfather broke plates about two times, they started to give him food in a wooden bowl. Whenever someone from the family glanced the old man, there were tears in his eyes, because he was all alone. Since then the only words spoken to him, were caustic comments whenever he dropped the fork or spilled the food.
The 4-year-old boy watched all of this in silence. One evening, the father noticed him playing with a wood splinter on the floor. He asked his son sweetly:
“What are you doing?”
The boy replied just as trustingly:
“I am making small wooden bowls for you and mom from which you’ll eat when I grow up.”
The boy smiled and went on working. These words shocked the parents so much, they were speechless. Then tears fell down from their eyes. Although not a single word was uttered, they both knew what exactly they had to do.
That evening the husband approached the old man, took his hand and gently brought him back to the family table. All remaining days he ate together with the family. And for some reason none of the family members was disturbed when a fork fell or when milk was spilled on the tablecloth.