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The Cracked Water Pot

A water bearer in India had two large water pots. They hung on opposite ends 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 always arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the water 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 imperfection, miserable that it could 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 water 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 cracked pot took notice of the sun warming beautiful flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it. 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 water bearer for its failure.

The water 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 everyday while we have walked 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."

MORAL: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We need to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. Every day we look in the mirror we can wonder what flowers we'll unknowingly be watering that day.

Author Unknown
Contributed by Lori O. (20010130)

This page complies with Planning & Development Standards - Revision 20010209fr1010

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