Carving a bowl

David is partly a tour guide, partly a comedian, partly a philosopher. Confucianism, he sums up, is “Respect the elders, take care of the young”. Another important rule is that you do not impose on others what you do not want yourself.

The story he tells is about a family — father, mother, a son — who live together with their in-laws. Grandmother has Parkinson and more and more frequently her hands start to shake. Once she drops an expensive porcelain bowl, which smashes to pieces on the floor. So the next day, mother buys a wooden bowl. It can drop, but it won’t break. Then the day after that day, she comes home and sees her son carving something out of wood. “What are you doing honey?”, she asks, to which the boy answers: “I’m carving a wooden bowl. One day you’ll need it!”