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A monday musing - the cracked pot.

Discussion in 'The Pub' at netrider.net.au started by robsalvv, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. I was reminded of this classic short tale of wisdom last night... so I thought I'd share it. :)

    The Cracked Pot

    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. 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."

    You can read this story in many places on the net, each with their own summary of what the moral is. To me it says that we all have unique flaws - we're all cracked pots, and focussing on our own flaws at the exclusion of all else is a crap way of passing the time. It will blind you to the possibilities and promote a thoroughly miserable time. That blows.

    So don't!

    I guess the other moral of the story is to be kind to yourself, especially if you're feeling a little blue... which tends to happen to a significant portion of the population in winter. You can't always see the full picture, and your less likely to when your miserable.

    Anyhow, any other morals to share? Any thoughts inspired?
  2. I think the real moral is that when the pots start talking to you it's probably time to get the water quality checked :grin:.
  3. I think the real moral is that the leaky water pot will never be used to cart the waste from the shitter outside.

  4. Yet another great topic Rob.

    As you pointed out, the main moral presented here is one of acceptance. You are perfect just the way you are, cracked bit and all. I would have to agree. Personally I feel I have many flaws that I am not proud of. Again, acceptance is the key. Accepting my flaws helps me see that there are aspects of them that provide great value for myself and for others. Like the cracked pot not noticing the flowers growing, sometimes I cannot see the benefit of some of my imperfections. Only by being honest with someone about how I feel can they reflect back to me these unknown benefits.

    Acceptance, or unconditional self love, helps me with a positive mental state going forward. It enables me to focus on what I can do and have done and stay off my pity pot of what I can’t do or shouldn’t have done. Complete honesty with someone I trust gives me the opportunity to reflect on myself and get a frank opinion from someone whose opinion I value.

    Again, this helps me focus on what I can do and not what I can’t. W Mitchell had a serious motorcycle accident that burnt off his face, fingers and left him horribly disfigured. Four years later he had a plane accident that left him paralysed from the waist down. His approach is, Before the accident I could do 10,000 things and now I can do 9,000, why not focus on what I can do rather than dwell on what I can’t. (see http://www.wmitchell.com/ for more on him).

    So I like to acknowledge my crack’s (and I mean that in the nicest possible way) and then focus on what I can do. It is a whole lot more fun!!

  5. my flaws seem totally insignificant compared to all the cracked pots im surrounded by.
  6. And on behalf of all the crackpots here I thank you for your words of wisdom... :)

    However Ktulu really summed it all up:

  7. Ktulu may be right... still, if water leaked out and resulted in flowers, then you'd be able to raise a veritable vege garden of goodness if shit was leaking out instead.

    It occurred to me that not all flaws have silver linings... or do they?

    We're not the best ones to spot the silver lining when we can't see the forest for the dust on the ants on the leaves of the trees.

    :nail: Right on the nail mate.

    Interloper, have you asked some of these other crackpots what they think of your flaws?? :grin:
  8. why would i do that?
  9. sometimes the other cracked pots around you help you to reaffirm that your not so different to everyone else,is what i was basically geting at :wink:
  10. don't give the water bearer too much credit in the wisdom department.

    For two years he carried the cracked pot on the same side of his body and now has a permanently curved spine.

    And it's all the deformed pots fault. All things ugly are evil. I learnt that from Hollywood.
  11. Well you made a post saying that your flaws seemed less than the folks around you "my flaws seem totally insignificant compared to all the cracked pots im surrounded by". That would be an interesting observation to check for one, and for two, one of the points about the story is that we're the worst reference point to judge our own flaws.

    hahahaha Ibast. Ok, fair enuff. Point of order though, the pot was cracked, not deformed. Oh and the water bearer chose to keep the pot on the one side to maximise watering benefits on that side. That's kinda smart don't ya think?
  12. I'm surprised you're not looking at it from the engineers point of view.
    If he hadn't wasted so much time planting stupid flowers and talking to pots he could have designed and built an aquaduct thereby eliminating the need to have to carry water at all.
  13. ...and then he'd end up like the fat bastard I'm in danger of becoming if I don't get more exercise!! :LOL:

    Interesting thing about being an engineer, is that every now and then it pays to stop and smell the flowers, even more so if you have NFI about anything to do with plants. Occasionally function does have to give way to form .
  14. fair call rob.i understand the story mate and was merely having a poke at society in general.
    having said that,is it not human nature,at times,for some to take note of the flaws of others to help them accept theyre own flaws and feel better about themselves?we often dont see our own flaws,your correct,but its not a matter of picking out the things that are flawed about ourselves,its acknowledging the fact that we arent perfect that matters.the pot felt shit about itself so the bearer pointed out what was good about it.some people dont often have this sort of positive confirmation so they tell themselves that the world is full of crackpots so your not so bad yourself.whether it comes from within or from someone else the result is the same.we can be the worst judge of own flaws as much as misjudging the things that are good about ourselves too.
  15. Thanks WGM, I just saw WMitchell at a Telstra conference and to say he was inspiring is underplaying it, he really is a lesson in personal acceptance. He tells a story about how he wandered the streets after his horrific motorbike accident and looked up one day and a lady smiled at him. Anyway a bit off topic but look him up!

    The cracked pot is a great story and I normally place myself in the position of the man and try to remember this when I interact with people on a daily basis.