The Elderly Woman with Two Urns

by

An elderly Chinese woman had two urns, each hung on the ends of pole which she carried across her neck.

One of the urns had a crack in it while the other urn was perfect and always delivered a fill portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the House, the cracked urn arrived only half full. For full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half urns of water. Of course, the perfect urn was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked urn was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream. “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 woman smiled, “Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other urn’s side?” “That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.”

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

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