An old lady had two large pots, each hung on an end of a pole which she carried across her 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 house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the old lady delivering only one and a half pots full of water in her 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 old lady: “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house ». The old lady smiled and said : ” Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots 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. Thanks to you, for two years, I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my table. »
Extrait L’âme du monde – French book by Frédéric Lenoir – philosopher et historian of religions –