I wrote the other morning in my blog, Just For Today I Will Not Worry, that I felt the reason I work so hard on myself is because deep down I believe I’m inherently flawed. But as I wrote, I came to realize that I am not broken. I don’t need to be fixed. I am okay just the way I am, and am working to make my life better each day.
After reading this, my mother sent me this story….that we are all cracked pots…
The Cracked Pot
A water bearer in India 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”. The bearer asked, “Why? What are you ashamed of?” The Pot replied, “For these past two years I am able to deliver only half of 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 don’t get full value for your efforts”.
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.” As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it somewhat. 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 bearer for its failure.
The 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 every day while we walk 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. In this world, nothing goes to waste. You may think like the cracked pot that you are inefficient or useless in certain areas of your life, but somehow these flaws can turn out to be a blessing in disguise.”
I thought about Michael and I’s time in Mararikulam North, a small coastal fishing village in the southern state of Kerala, India. There was an early morning fish market near our homestay. The baskets carried fish plucked from the nets, that was then transferred to large plastic bins filled with ice for the actual market. The baskets were rinsed out and stacked to then be brought back to their spot on the beach where they keep their nets and boats.
Life there is so simple, uncomplicated. The people are genuinely happy. Their baskets are woven, cracked and still carry fish. <3
Leonard Cohn – Anthem
My father connected to The Cracked Pot story to Leonard Cohn’s song, Anthem. He has loved Leonard Cohn’s poems and songs since his late teens and shared this song with me, one of his favorites, commenting that the “perfect offering” Leonard Cohn refers to is about the “self” (lots of us) who more or less seek perfection.
My favorite line in the song is, “There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in.”
I spent a day on the Greek Island of Hydra. I didn’t know at the time that fellow Canadian Leonard Cohn had a history on the island and a home there. I stumbled upon a bench overlooking the beautiful blues of the Mediterranean Sea, dedicated to him. I understand why he fell involve with the island… <3
I’m so grateful for my loving, supportive parents who have such thoughtful wisdom to share with me. <3 <3 <3