A water bearer in India bore two large pots from the ends of a pole that he carried across his neck. On of the pots was perfectly made and never leaked; the other had a crack in it. By the time the water bearer reached his master's house the leaky pot was only half full – this went on for two and a half years.
While the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, the cracked pot was ashamed of it imperfections.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. " I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you," it said. "Why?" asked the bearer.
"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 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 cracked pot did notice the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path. 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 our side of your path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always know 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 all have our flaws. It's important to acknowledge them and find strength in them.
"A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her." –David Brinkley
April 2009 newsletter, page 3