An elderly Chinese woman used to carry water in two pots which hung on the ends of a pole she carried across her neck. One of the pots was perfect; the other was cracked. Every day the woman filled the pots from the stream and carried the water back to her house. Every day the perfect pot was still full of water when she arrived home; the cracked pot had leaked and was hardly even half full.
One day the cracked pot – wracked with guilt and feeling like a failure – spoke to the woman to tell her how sorry it was that the crack in its side caused so much of the water to leak out before they made it home.
The woman smiled and pointed out to the cracked pot that its side of the path was lined with flowers. Those flowers would not have been there, had it not been for the water that leaked from the cracked pot.