The Magic of Imperfection

There are two ways to look at life. One is as though nothing is a miracle; the other is as though everything is.

-Albert Einstein

 My recurring dream.

A story is told about an elderly Chinese woman who owned two large pots. Each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried every day on her shoulders to fill with water from the stream located at the end of the village. One of the pots was complete and always delivered a full portion of water; the other pot was cracked and arrived home each day only half full.

Of course, the complete pot was proud of its accomplishments. It felt really good about itself. The poor cracked pot, on the other hand, was ashamed of its own imperfections; it was miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After six years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, the humbled broken pot finally opened its heart to the woman at the stream.  “I hate myself,” the cracked pot cried, “I am so useless and valueless. What purpose does my existence have when each day I leak out half of my water? I am such a loser!”

The old woman smiled and said:” Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side? I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path.  Every day while we walk back from the stream, you have the opportunity to water them.

“For six years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate our home.  Without you being just the way you are, we would have never created this beauty together.”