The Cracked Pot : A Tale from India
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 masters 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 masters 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." "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 masters 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 masters 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 bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots 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 masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
Moral of the story:
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. It's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.
Let's listen to Guru jee's guidance, which He offers us:
ਗੁਣਾ ਕਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਵਾਸੁਲਾ ਕਢਿ ਵਾਸੁ ਲਈਜੈ ॥
guNaa kaa hovai vaasulaa, kadh vaas la-eejai.
One who has a basket of fragrant virtues, should enjoy its fragrance.
ਜੇ ਗੁਣ ਹੋਵਨ੍ਹ੍ਹਿ ਸਾਜਨਾ ਮਿਲਿ ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਜੈ ॥
je guN hovniH saajnaa, mil saanjh kareejai.
If my friends have virtues, I will share in them.
ਸਾਝ ਕਰੀਜੈ ਗੁਣਹ ਕੇਰੀ ਛੋਡਿ ਅਵਗਣ ਚਲੀਐ ॥
saanjh kareejai guNeh keree, chhodd avgan chalee-ai.
Let us form a partnership, and share our virtues; let us abandon our faults, and walk on the Path.
ਪਹਿਰੇ ਪਟੰਬਰ ਕਰਿ ਅਡੰਬਰ ਆਪਣਾ ਪਿੜੁ ਮਲੀਐ ॥
pehire pattambar kar adambar, aapnaa piR malee-ai.
Let us wear our virtues like silk clothes; let us decorate ourselves, and enter the arena.
ਜਿਥੈ ਜਾਇ ਬਹੀਐ ਭਲਾ ਕਹੀਐ ਝੋਲਿ ਅੰਮ੍ਰਿਤੁ ਪੀਜੈ ॥
jithai jaa-e behee-ai bhalaa, kehee-ai jhol amrit peejai.
Let us speak of goodness, wherever we go and sit; let us skim off Amrit, the spiritual-life giving Nectar, and drink it in.
ਗੁਣਾ ਕਾ ਹੋਵੈ ਵਾਸੁਲਾ ਕਢਿ ਵਾਸੁ ਲਈਜੈ ॥੩॥
guNaa kaa hovai vaasulaa, kadh vaas la-eejai. ||3||
One who has a basket of fragrant virtues, should enjoy its fragrance. ||3||