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The Cracked Pot


A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung
on each end of a pole which he carried across his
neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and
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 master's house, the cracked 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 in his master's house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its
accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was
made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own
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 to
apologize to you."

"Why?" asked the bearer. "What are you ashamed of?"

"I have been able, for these past two years, to
deliver only half my load because this crack in my
side causes water to leak out all the way back to
your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to
do all of this work, and you don't get full value from
your efforts," the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot,
and in his compassion he said, "As we return to the
master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful
flowers along the path."

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot
took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild
flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered
it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt
bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so
again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there
were flowers only on your side of your path, but not
on the other pot's side? That's because I have always
known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I
planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and
every day while we walk back from the stream, you've
watered them. For two years I have been able to pick
these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table.
Without you being just the way you are, he would not
have this beauty to grace his house."

Author Unknown


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