Saturday, 13 August 2011

Cracked Pot Parable

            A water bearer in China had two large pots. Each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One pot 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 bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

            Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect 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, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.”  The water bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?  That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path.  Every day while we walk back, you’ve watered 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.”

The 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.  You’ve just got to take each person and situation for what they are, and look for the good in them.

Someone sent this to me in an email many years ago and every so often I revisit it with great delight. I hope this encourages you to be gentler with yourself and others over perceived flaws.  The "water" that escapes from your broken places may be the very thing that causes flowers to bloom in another's path . . . flowers like hope, joy, compassion, acceptance, gratitude, inspiration and love.

1 comment:

  1. I’ve read the cracked pot parable before – and what a wonderful lesson. But today it just hit the spot. It helped me embrace my own brokenness and status of wounded healer.

    BYW, I found you from your comment at Craig’s place. The response of “wounded healer” led me straight over. Such a timely response in light of his sad kitty and the memory of having suffered abuse himself. What a poignant story.


    When have you experienced a healing moment in your life?


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