Brother John entered the “Monastery of Silence” and the Abbott said,
“Brother, this is a silent monastery; you are welcome here as long as you like, but you may not speak until I direct you to do so.”
Brother John lived in the monastery for five years before the Abbott said to him, “Brother John, you have been here five years now; you may speak two words.”
Brother John said, “Hard bed.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” the Abbot said. “We will get you a better bed.”
After another five years, Brother John was called by the Abbott. “You may say another two words, Brother John.”
“Cold food,” said Brother John, and the Abbott assured him that the food would be better in the future.
On his 15th anniversary at the monastery, the Abbott again call Brother John into his office. “Two words you may say today.”
“I quit,” said Brother John.
“It is probably best, you’ve done nothing but complain since you got here.”