We reap what we sow. That is a very powerful truth, but one we often forget. If we sow bad seeds, we reap a bitter, unpalatable crop. Knowing this, why do we so often fall into the same old trap of sowing harmful seeds?
I love stories with a moral because so often, the message of the story reveals itself as an epiphany. Its not that we didn’t necessarily know the message to begin with, but we may have forgotten it or suppressed it — this is particularly true in our modern, stressful world. The story of “The Wooden Bowl” is one of those stories with a powerful message. After you’ve read the moral of the story below, remind yourself daily of what is really, truly important in life.
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 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.
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 day, 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.
Moral: You reap what you sow. Regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. Always respect, care for and love them.
– Author unknown
This is a valuable reminder that we need to treat others as we want to be treated. Life can be challenging and with daily stresses, sometimes the slightest inconvenience at home can make us snap and lash out. We’re only human after all, and stress can make us react in a way that just creates more negativity. That is why we need to practice daily mindfulness — we have to consciously remind ourselves not to let the little things bother us and we need to cherish what and who we have.
“More smiling, less worrying. More compassion, less judgment. More blessed, less stressed. More love, less hate.” ―
“The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about these circumstances.” ― Andrew J. Bernstein