Do You Know Any Crack(ed) Pots?

Contributed by Joyce Dendy

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, hung on opposite ends of a pole she carried across her shoulders.

Each day she carried the pots to a nearby stream to draw water for the day’s tasks.

One pot was perfect, but the other had a crack that made it incapable of retaining water. As a result, each day on reaching her home the cracked pot was only half full.

For a full two years this was the daily pattern, with the woman only able to bring one and a half pots of water for her household’s daily needs.

Naturally, the perfect pot was very proud of its accomplishment. But the poor cracked pot felt shame at its imperfection, and miserable that it only delivered half the amount it was made to hold.

Entering a third year of what it perceived to be utter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the woman one morning 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 growing on your side of the path, but not on the side of the other pot?”

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path.”

“Every day while we walk back to the house, you water them. For two years I’ve been able to pick beautiful flowers to decorate the table.”

“Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the path and the house.”

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We each have our own unique flaws – but it’s the cracks and the flaws that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. We just need to take each person for what he or she is, and look for the good in them.