The water bearer

The Cracked Pot: A Story of Purpose

A friend of mine recently shared this story with me and the moment I heard it, I knew I wanted to share it with you all. Whether this is your first time reading this story, or if you have come across it before, the story of The Cracked Pot is a great reminder of  individual uniqueness and purpose. We each come to this world with different flaws and sometimes it’s hard for us to see the good that  exists beyond those flaws.  We are all cracked pots.  This story helps to remind us that we need to take the time to appreciate each other for the beautiful, unique creatures that we are; to acknowledge the good that exists within all of us and to celebrate each others purpose because we all have one. Wishing you all a pleasant day. Hopefully this story will resonate with a few of you.

crackedpot origA waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her 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 mistress’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 to her master’s house.

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.”

Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’s 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 her compassion she said, “As we return to the mistress’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 the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

Photo Credit:  katykulak.tumblr.com |

Photo Credit: katykulak.tumblr.com |

“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 mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her 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. We’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.

There’s a lot of good out there.

By Sacinandana Swami

“Your purpose in life is to find your purpose and give your whole heart and soul to it” -Gautama Buddha

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