The Old Man and his Grandson is a short tale that proves a powerful point.
Once upon a time there was a very old man who lived with his son and daughter-in-law. The man was so old that his hearing and sight had diminished. His hands trembled when he tried to eat. The couple did not like it when the old man sat at the table to eat because he would spill his food on the tablecloth. They finally relegated him to a corner to eat his food.
The old man would sit in the corner with tears in his eyes trying to eat his food, with trembling hands. One day he dropped his bowl and it broke on the floor. The wife scolded him and they gave him a wooden dish to eat out of instead.
One night, they were sitting together and the four-year old grandson began to gather together some bits of wood. His parents asked him what he was doing. The little boy told his parents that he was making a trough for them to eat out of when he was big.
The man and his wife were shaken by this statement and began to cry. They let the old grandfather come to the table to eat his food and they didn’t say anything even if he spilled something.
This is sad. It’s sad how someone would try to hide away a member of their family because of health reasons, but it happens all the time. I used to work in a nursing home, I know people hide members of their families away. While I worked there, I always thought it was so disappointing how these people would force their relatives to live in this terrible place and then never come to see them. They were ashamed of grandmother and grandfather. They assume that the withered and health problem-ridden person they see is not the same person they once loved, but trust me, it still is. No matter what state your grandmother or grandfather gets to mentally or physically, they’re still in there somewhere.
This family does not respect their elders, but they also don’t realize that their behavior is rubbing off on their child. Their son sees how they are treating his grandfather, so he assumes that the same thing must be done to his parents when they are that age. You really do teach children how to act by how you act. That old saying that actions speak louder than words is true in more ways than one. We are great mimickers and if you’re doing something not so desirable in front of your children, they are sure to notice. How you treat your elderly parents, in actions, is almost for sure how your children will treat you when you reach that age.
Like I said before, it’s a short tale, but it says a lot.