Thursday, May 31, 2012

Appreciating Differences


As I look out into our world and see so many recent personal and political debates over inclusion, prejudice, and judgment, I can't help but feel bewildered that so many people still aren't able to see our differences as strengths, and not shortcomings. So today I'm going to share a story that may help put this into better perspective.

An Old Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she carried across her 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 walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments and 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 two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the woman one day by the stream."I'm 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 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 accept each person for what they are and look for the good in them. 

Take time to value and appreciate your relationships with others, for there you will find the harmony, unity, and balance of our unique diversity and color.

Thank you to my friend in South Africa for sharing this story with me!

Namaste,

The Ambassador