Friday, July 11, 2014

Perfectly Imperfect

A villager[1] in a country in the East had two big containers, which he hanged on each end of a pole. He placed the pole on his back and carried water from the spring to his house. One of the containers was broken, whilst the other one was perfect and always transported all of the water which was placed in it. The broken container, after a long and difficult procession, from the spring to the house, transported only half of the water which the villager had placed in it. This procession was a daily phenomenon, during a two year period, with the villager transporting 1,5 containers of water.

The perfect container was very proud for accomplishing its purpose, whilst the broken one was ashamed for its imperfection, and was sad for being able to only carry half of the water, for which it was made.
After two years of “failure”, the broken container spoke to its owner, when he was filling it in the spring. “I am unacceptable, and I would like to apologise. This last period I cannot transport all of the water you place in me. Due to this defect you need to work harder and of course you get more tired because of this”.
The villager then replied and said:
“Have you noticed that only on your side of the road there are flowers and not on the other side? And that is because I always knew your imperfection and I placed seeds on your side, in order for them to be watered by you. For two years I cut the flowers and decorate the table in my house. Without you, and without your imperfection, I would not be able to have all of these beautiful flowers, which decorate my home”.
Teaching: Every person has some and maybe a number of unique features. We might not be perfect; however it is these specific characteristics that we have, which make our lives interesting and charming. It is also important, and maybe imperative, that we accept everyone with their unique qualities and try to discover the positive elements in their personalities. All of us, working together, we have to take the right path, the path of saintliness and of theosis.

[1] This is a translation from the original Greek found in Σπουδάγματα, Τεύχος 12-13, Πάσχα 2006, p.3

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