This is a beautiful story that has been around for many years, yet it feels right to repost it today. This version is from India (there are many similar in circulation). Enjoy…
Once there was a water bearer in India whose job it was to carry water every day from a stream to his master’s house. He 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.
“You should not feel that way.” the man said. “You are not a failure. You are a wonderful pot. And, you can prove it to yourself. As we return to the house today, look carefully alongside the path. When we get home, tell me what you saw.”
All the way home, the cracked pot paid attention to everything he saw. At home the man asked, “What did you see?”
“Flowers,” said the cracked pot. “I saw lots of flowers.”
“Yes you did. Aren’t they beautiful?”
“Yes,” said the pot. “But, once again, half the water I was carrying leaked out. I’m sorry.”
“There is no need to be sorry,” said the man. “Tell me, did you notice where the flowers were growing?”
“Well, yes,” he said, a little puzzled. “They were only on my side of the path, but not on the other side. Why is that?”
“For all these years,” the man said, “I have planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day as we walked back from the stream…”
“Oh!” the pot interrupted, shaking with excitement. “I watered the seeds through the crack in my side, and the seeds sprouted and the flowers bloomed, and…”
“Yes,” said the man, who was as excited as the pot. “Because you are the way you are, everyone in the village can decorate their homes with beautiful flowers.
“Each of us is a cracked pot in one way or another.” he said. “But there is still no limit to the wonder we can create.”
From that day on, the cracked pot knew just how wonderful it really was.
How many times do you feel like the ‘cracked pot’? Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all ‘cracked pots’ in one way. But we should not be afraid of our flaws; we should acknowledge them. Know that in our weakness, we find our strength.
Sometimes, do you feel you are not a contribution? I encourage you to take another look – an ‘eyes wide open’ look around. I see how wonderful you really are. Each of us makes a contribution (like the cracked pot)! I thank you for yours!