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Cracked Pot

November 8, 2011

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack 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 cracked pot arrived only half full.  For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.  After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.  “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”  The old woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”*

 

Each of us has our own unique flaw.  Our specific purpose and mission is found in our uniqueness.  For the one with the flaw it’s the challenge to both improve and find how it can be used for the benefit of others.  For those seeing the flaws in another, it’s the challenge of recognizing its potential benefit and to remember that we all have one. 

*I wish I remembered the source for this story so that I could give credit where it’s due

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