I got this in my in-box last week and just loved it’s message so much that I had to share. It actually fits in quite nicely with my post last week too about accepting our ‘flaws’ and seeing them as positives.
More on Perfectionism
© Lynne Namka, Ed. D.
Here’s a story regarding perfectionism and judgment:
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots 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, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able todeliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your 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.
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.” Indeed, 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 some. 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. 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 the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”
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 for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you!
Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. (Or maybe they snap back into shape more easily!)
Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it-if it hadn’t been for the crackpots in my life, it would have been pretty boring and life certainly would have been much less interesting…
This popular story or fable was submitted by my friend John Freedom, original storyteller unknown. John recommends the books, The Joy of Imperfection and The Spirituality of Imperfection for further understanding of the neurotic need to judge ourselves.
Hope this finds you enjoying the
crack-pots cracked pots in your life.