Forgive me if you’ve heard this story before. It has been on my mind, and I’d like to tell it:
A water-bearer in India walked from his master’s house to a stream every morning to get water for the day. He had two clay pots, filled them with water and walked back with them attached to either end of a pole that he carried on his shoulders.
One of the pots developed a crack and would leak half of its contents on the way back every morning. After two years of this, the intact pot was feeling perfect and virtuous and the cracked pot was feeling embarrassed and inadequate. One day at the stream, the cracked pot spoke to the water-bearer.
“I feel terrible,” it said. “Every day you carry me and the other pot to the stream and then carry us back. After you do all that work, the other pot delivers its full load, and I deliver half of my load, because I am cracked. You get only one and a half pots of water to deliver to your master.”
This made the water-bearer sad, and he replied: “Do me a favor. Today, as we walk back to the house, look carefully at the path.”
When they had completed their journey, the water-bearer asked the pot what it had seen. “Many beautiful flowers,” said the pot. “But what’s the point?”
The water-bearer said: “Once I noticed your flaw, I decided to take advantage of it and plant flower seeds along your side of the path. You water those seeds as we walk together. So the beautiful flowers grow only on your side of the road. I use them to decorate my master’s table, which brings him joy. I can do that only because you are the way you are.”
I’ve been feeling lately a bit like the cracked pot, and I suspect that all of us do from time to time. May we all continue to make beautiful flowers.
— Mel Pine (Fearless Lotus)
Copyright 2016 © Mel Harkrader Pine