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Tuesday, 14 July 2009

To my cracked pot friends

There is a heart warming story today on Sarah Jane Grace's blog which really made me smile. Sarah tells the tale of an Indian water bearer and his cracked pot, a tale which reminds us embrace our own unique flaws, for we all have them. It is these very flaws that make us so unique and make life on this wonderful planet so challenging and interesting - all at the same time, for they shape us into the people that we are and teach us valuable lessons about tolerance, acceptance and patience - qualities which are in short supply in the hectic pace of our modern society. The story also serves as a reminder to stop and slow down, to smell the coffee (or perhaps the flowers), so that we too can flower. I am honoured to count myself as one of Sarah's crackpot friends ...

So without further ado, here is the story:

"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 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 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 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 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 the Pot 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 pots 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 table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."

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