An old teaching story from India (author unknown).
A water bearer had two large pots, each hung on one end of a pole that he carried across his shoulders. One of the pots had a crack in it. The other pot was perfect, no cracks or blemishes of any kind.
Every day the water bearer filled the two pots in a stream and carried the water to the village chief’s house. By the time he reached the house, the cracked pot was only half full, while the perfect pot brought a full load of water to the house. This went on for 2 years, with the bearer delivering one and a half pots of water a day. The poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and unhappy that it was able to accomplish only half of what the perfect pot did.
One day, as the water bearer was filling the cracked pot, the pot spoke to him: “I am sorry that I can’t deliver a full pot of water for you. I’m so ashamed of the crack in my side.” The water bearer looked at the pot, smiled and said: "As we make the journey to the house today, I want you to see the beautiful flowers along the path."
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the cracked pot noticed beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and the pot found its spirits lifting. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other 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 walked back from the stream, you've watered them. These flowers bring good cheer to anyone who passes along this path. People pick some flowers for their homes or to give to their sweethearts. By watering the flowers every day, you help to bring joy to so many people.”
We are all cracked pots, aren’t we? :)