It’s going to be 2 weeks tomorrow ! Smoke-free since 14 days! I learn more and more about my addiction to Nicotine, some things I read are eye-opening, other articles raise more questions. If Nicotine is addictive, that makes me an addict? If I am an addict, can I stay smoke-free? This pill is hard to swallow. I always thought about myself as a smoker, I never looked at myself as being an addict. That’s makes me damaged good doesn’t it? What if I am damaged beyond repair?
Thoughts like that were just popping up in my mind and I felt my optimism shaking. It’s hard to have a positive outlook on life and myself, if I look at myself as “damaged good”.
Then I found the answer in a story. Yes, I might be “damaged” but I can still make a difference!
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, 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 Master’s 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 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.”
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 the path, but not on the other pot’s 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 walked 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.”
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. 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.