Friday, 12 February 2016

Flawed, yet perfect.

One of the things I've battled with for most of my life is thinking that I needed to be perfect before people would accept and like me. Apart from being exhausting, not to mention impossible, all it did was stop me from letting anyone get too close. Over the past few years, I've actually been able to gradually stop feeling this way. I don't know if it is a feature of growing older or not, because as Johnny Depp puts it so eloquently, 'I don't know how to act my age, I've never been this old before.' Whatever the reason, it has certainly made life a lot easier.

But we don't live our lives in a vacuum, and we can't help but be affected by the actions of others. 

I recently had lunch with a friend who had been hurt by someone close to her. As we talked about the situation, she said that, 'Once a vase has been broken, it is never the same again.' While I agree with this statement, it doesn't mean that it has to be a negative thing. I believe that certain situations that seem to 'break us', can make us stronger and even better people because of it.This is something that I think is at least worth striving for.

I came across the following story on Facebook. I probably couldn't tell it any better myself, so I won't try. Besides it's not really my story to tell. But I really wanted to share it as I feel it contains a very important message.

An elderly Chinese man had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it 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 man bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the man 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 man smiled, "Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot'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."

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my crackpot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path! (Leo Petrik 2016. )

What a lovely story. I thought of my friend as I was reading it. But I do believe there's a time and place for things to happen. Sometimes, we need the distance of time, to be able look at a situation and realise that we can move on and be all the stronger for it. Life is complicated and sometimes we don't see the wider picture. We don't see the flowers by the wayside because we are so pre-occupied by our cracks. 

I also was struck by the arrogance of the 'perfect' pot, not an attractive quality.  

It's a serious subject, but I thought I'd end by sharing this cartoon. None of us are perfect, But I do believe that there can be situations which we're just perfect for, just like the cracked pot. We need to learn to embrace our flaws. As the caption says, none of us are perfect. But we each have our part to play.

Something to think about perhaps?

Johnny Depp photo courtesy of:-

Cracked water jar story can be found at:-

No one is perfect:- 

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