by: Malik Mirza
Here is an inspiring story with a strong message: Do not underestimate yourself by comparing yourself with others. It’s our differences that make us unique & Beautiful.We might have heard of water bearers i.e. people who move water from one place to another.
This is story of two large pots which were carried on by a water bearer / a lady in India.
Each pot hung on each end of a pole which she carried across her 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. However, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the lady 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.
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.
The cracked pot said: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the lady. “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 master’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 lady 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 the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The lady 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.”
We can derive certain lessons from this story including the following:
1. People are not perfect. Therefore, we should try to achieve the best we can and not compare ourselves with others.
2. There are good qualities in every one. It is said that even a clock which is not in a working condition will give you correct time twice in twenty four hours. Therefore, find good in everyone including yourself and nurture those good attributes.
3. Focus on strengths of people and utlize them.