A Chinese lady carrying two water pots, one is cracked and dripping water.Are you a cracked pot?

A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on one end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a hole in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the leaking pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor leaking pot was ashamed of its imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want you to throw me away and replace me. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this hole in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaw, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.”

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? That is because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you have watered them. For two years I have been able to pick some of these beautiful flowers to decorate our table, and many passers by have enjoyed them, too. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be any of these beautiful flowers.”

We all have our own unique flaws, but it is these flaws that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We simply ought to take each person for who and what they are, and look for the good in them. And we can take pride and pleasure in doing what we can without self-recrimination, because even leaking pots may serve a useful purpose such as nourishing beauty.


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