Home > Relationships, Thoughts > The Story of Two Pots

The Story of Two Pots

An elderly water bearer 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 master’s 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 it 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 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 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.”


True. As my life journey continues, no matter how much I sometimes try to deny it, I do believe that the many valuable lessons I have acquired so far are indeed coming from what I perceive as the imperfections and misfortunes in my life.
Categories: Relationships, Thoughts Tags:
  1. Kak Teh
    September 16, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    what a beautiful story! Now I am trying to think how my flaws have been beneficial to me and others…hmmm!

  2. Ms B
    September 17, 2008 at 10:35 am

    Sometimes it takes another person to show you that your flaws serve a meaningful purpose.

    These days, I am thankful for the missing puzzles in my life, especially on my past.

    ps: late comment but I love Disney Paris! We went there last year and had so much fun!

  3. Hi&Lo
    September 18, 2008 at 11:27 am


    I am not perfect but I can be useful. hehe

  4. silversarina
    September 27, 2008 at 1:28 am


    Semoga Syawal memabawa bahagia dan ceria .


  5. Theta
    September 30, 2008 at 8:57 am


    Dropping by to wish you and your loved ones Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri. Maaf zahir & batin.

    I love this parable. I believe the flaws are there to keep us grounded and make us thankful for what we are and have.

  6. Santos
    April 18, 2010 at 10:08 am

    I have loved this story for as long as I have known of it so much I am tattooing it on my back I have one of the two pots now just saving up the money to get the rest of the work done for pics look me up on facebook My name is Santos Camacho

  7. tvontv
    February 11, 2013 at 5:39 am

    what does this story mean?

  8. February 4, 2015 at 1:39 am
  1. January 10, 2010 at 1:05 am
  2. February 5, 2013 at 9:50 am

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