Are you someone who always strives for perfection? Do you feel uncomfortable when you are doing something only half as good as your colleagues or friends? Many of us grapple with these feelings, often adding unnecessary complexity to our lives. Yet, in the pursuit of flawlessness, we often overlook the beauty of what lies at the side of the road. And it’s in these moments that we might discover something truly beautiful. The following therapeutic story about the broken pot sheds light on this notion.


The story of the broken pot - a therapeutic story

Photo: Ilona Frey, Unsplash



The Story of the Broken Pot


A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the 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.

This went on for two years, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master’s house. Naturally, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, always delivering a whole portion of water. The poor cracked pot, however, was ashamed of its 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 want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“For these past two years, I have been able 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.”

As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot noticed the sun shining on the beautiful wildflowers on the side of the path, which cheered it up a bit. 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 pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw and 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.”

[author unknown]






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The story of the broken pot - a therapeutic story

Photo: Laura Meinhardt, Pexels

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