Many of us who like vintage things have a cracked bowl, plate, cup, or other item that we continue to use despite its damage. This story from China illustrates why we continue to use something less than perfect.
A man once owned two pots. Each day he carried the pots on a pole across his shoulders to a nearby river where he would fill the pots carefully, then carry them back to his home. Water dripped from the cracked pot as he walked and by the time he reached his house half of the water in that pot was gone, while the other was still full.
A neighbor watched the man carrying the broken pot and dripping the water along the path for months until his curiosity got the best of him.
"Friend," he said, "You seem like an intelligent man. But why do you continue to carry that cracked pot to the river each day? I have watched you fill it many times, and always the water drips out along the path until by the time you reach your home it is only half full. Why do you not get the pot repaired, or buy a new one?"
The water bearer looked at his neighbor, and then pointed to the path along which he was walking.
"I have always known about the flaw in this pot," he replied. "See the flowers on this side of the path? See how beautiful they are, how full of bloom? I planted them here. I have known about the crack in my pot and I have used it to water the flowers which I pick for my table. Without this old cracked pot, I would not have had such a bounty of blooms for my home. It serves its purpose well, just as it is."
This story could apply to any of us who are not perfect ourselves, couldn't it? All of us "cracked pots" can still spread beauty and love, and be useful, even with our flaws.
Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.