Have you ever wished you were like someone else? Prettier, skinnier, stronger, or even wished you had talents and gifts like them? I have. I’ve wished I was quieter and more gentle-natured and I’ve wished I was more like my sister. She has all those qualities I aspire to.
I heard this story that is simple, profound, and I have never forgotten it.
Two clay water jugs belonged to a family who lived in a little hut in an arid land. The jugs were nothing alike. One was beautiful – and perfect. The other was well used, cracked, and continually leaked. But each day, the water-bearer picked up her two clay water jugs and trekked a long way to the water hole.
She filled her two jugs to the brim and slowly made her way back to her hut and her waiting family. And as usual, by the time she got back, the damaged clay jug was empty and put on the shelf until the following day. It sadly watched as the beautiful clay jug was placed on the table and the water it held was enjoyed by a loving family.
The daily routine was always the same. The little cracked jug watched and wishing it was like the beautiful perfect jug, and couldn’t understand why it had to endure the same sad routine every day. Why wasn’t it thrown away? It felt useless. It had no purpose. It just wished, with all it’s might, it was the other jug.
It couldn’t take it anymore! So it asked the water-bearer “Why do you take me to the water hole every day, when I am broken, I leak and can’t hold any water? Every day when we come home I am empty. I am useless.”
The water-bearer lovingly picked up her broken jug, hugging it closely as she walked to the hut opening. She faced the jug towards the path that led all the way to the water hole. One side of the path was lined with the most amazing and beautiful flowers, and other people in the village were looking at the flowers and smelling them. These flowers were the most beautiful things in the village. She said “Do you see those beautiful flowers that line the path? Every day when I walk back from the water hole, it is you who waters those flowers. It is because of you that we have the most beautiful flowers in all the land. Your job isn’t to bring water to the family table, it is to bring life to our village. You are special in a different way. That’s your unique purpose, and you are beautifully and wonderfully made.
I apologise that I can’t recall where I heard this story, so I can’t give credit where it is due. But I believe that if you are reading this post, you may need to hear it – to give you hope and inspiration. Whether it’s Karma, or the Universe, or God (or whoever you believe in) speaking to you, this one’s for you – to remind you that you are uniquely and wonderfully made, and have a purpose.
This is why being you is better than being me.
© 2015 CEW