An elderly Chinese woman filled two pots of water from the stream every day and carried them home. They hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it and dripped water along the way so it could deliver only half the contents. The other pot was perfect and delivered water filled to the brim. The perfect pot was very proud of its accomplishment and the pot with the crack felt ashamed that it could not be exemplary. The defective pot was so upset, it felt it was flawed. One day it asked the old woman, “Why don’t you get rid of me... I can never do the job well, because I am not perfect like the other pots. I waste your time and energy.”
The old woman replied, “I always knew you had a crack and I did not consider it a drawback. I planted seedlings along the way where you dripped water. Come and see the beautiful flowers that have blossomed along the path which we travelled each day. Every day I collect these colourful blossoms and decorate the house. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace my house.” The pot saw the beautiful flowers and wept in joy.
Do we think like the defective pot? Are we ashamed of our weaknesses, our drawbacks, our height, weight, colour, our family background, our intelligence level, our inability to play a game well...?
This simple story tells us that each of us is unique and precious in our own way. No one human being is like another, but each one is a masterpiece created by the master! We have to accept our weaknesses and believe that we can turn them into our strengths, like the old woman did with the pot.
No one remembers Helen Keller because she was blind and deaf. We remember her for creating Braille, which changed the quality of life for thousands of blind people. No one associates Albert Einstein with a poor memory and dyslexia, only with the Theory of Relativity. Roosevelt is famous for being the only president of the USA who served more than two terms, not for the polio which afflicted him. Agatha Christie did not let her dyslexia prevent her from penning hundreds of spellbinding mysteries. Rekha, Nandita Das, Bipasha Basu, Konkona Sen are people who have made a mark in the entertainment industry in spite of, or should I say because of, the copper undertones of their complexion!
These are just a few names among the many who accepted and overlooked their flaws — or what the world perceived as flaws — and strived to perfect themselves.
We all have flaws, there is no perfect human being! But effectiveness and competence can be striven for by following simple rules:
■ Accept that you have a weakness, do not be ashamed of it or try to hide it, and believe that it can be turned into your strength.
■ Do not hesitate to ask someone for guidance and help, there is always someone out there ready to guide you in the right direction — teachers, parents, friends.
■ Put aside your ego. Pride always proves a barrier to improvement. Push aside your pride and accept your flaws.
■ Look within and find the hidden strength inside, do not compare or contrast.
Accept, Appreciate and Adjust, and you can always turn your cracks into blossoms!
“You are strong when you know your weaknesses, you are beautiful when you appreciate your flaws, you are wise when you learn from your mistakes.”