As one who describes myself (as I have heard others do as well) as a perfectionist, the story below was an "Aha!" moment for me. We live in a world where we strive for perfection in just about everything: a perfect score, the perfect day, the perfect outfit, the perfect meal, the perfect date, the perfect boss, parent, employee... you get the picture, but what is perfect? Who gets to determine this and is perfect the same for everyone and everything? If perfect is predetermined by the "Perfect Master" does that mean I or you don’t get to define our own sense of perfect? So if something is not perfect does it mean that imperfect has no value?
If we choose to see the "Masters Perfect" differently, maybe our vision really is perfect or should perfect not be our standard of measurement. If we strive for the elusive perfect in everything and somehow achieve it, what happens? Is our journey over, are we now expected to maintain this so called perfection, does it make it better than someone or something else? I do not think it does and I for one continue to learn how to embrace my imperfections because they make me me, which is at the moment, my perfect with room to grow and change.
I know that my description of perfect might not be someone else’s and I work hard to remember this daily in both my professional and personal life, admittedly not easy at times. Professionally, when leading the BRAVO! team, I can’t lose sight of this because we create integrated experiences that encompass all sorts of perfect perspectives. In my personal life, I am learning to embrace my cracks as they have led to so many unexpected amazing surprises and growth! So maybe we need to be a bit more careful when we use the word and strive for perfect because in reality perfect is truly subjective in most experiences in life. I hope when you read this story below you too will embrace your perfect cracks.
Let me know how you like it!
A water bearer in China had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which he carried across his neck. One pot 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 bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made.
But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer 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 bearer said to the pot,
"Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path. Every day while we walk back, you've watered 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."
Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. 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.