The Little Cracked Pot

There was once a water bearer who had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole which, he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, but 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 master’s house, while 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 master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was very ashamed of its imperfection, and was miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do — or so it thought.The cracked pot, after two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.

“I am very ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

“Why?” asked the water bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“For the past two years, I have only been able to deliver half of my real capacity, because this crack in my side allows water to leak out all the way back to the master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the cracked pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and compassionately said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot did notice the sun shining on the beautiful wild flowers growing along his side of the path, and this cheered it some. However, at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had again leaked out half its load, and so it apologized to the water bearer for its failure.

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 put it to good use. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path (for the return trip), and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For over two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. If you weren’t the way you are, he wouldn’t have the flowers for his house.”

Inspirational Story The Little Cracked Pot

I’ll Be Happy When. . .

(Author Unknown)

We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren’t old enough and we’ll be more content when they are. After that, we’re frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, when we are able to go on a nice vacation or when we retire. The truth is there’s no better time to be happy than right now. If not now, when? Your life will always be filled with challenges.

It’s best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have and treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with…and remember that time waits for no one.

So, stop waiting… Until your car or home is paid off.
Until you get a new car or home.
Until your kids leave the house.
Until you go back to school.
Until you finish school.
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married.
Until you get a divorce.
Until you have kids.
Until you retire.
Until summer.
Until spring.
Until winter.
Until fall.
Until you die.

There is no better time than right now to be happy. Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

Inspirational Stories I'll be happy when

Choose How to Start Your Day

(Author Unknown)

Jerry is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, “If I were any better, I would be twins!” He was a unique manager because he had several waiters who had followed him around from restaurant to restaurant. The reason the waiters followed Jerry was because of his attitude. He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Jerry was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation.

Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Jerry and asked him, I don’t get it! You can’t be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?”

Jerry replied, “Each morning I wake up and say to myself, Jerry, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or I can point out the positive side of life. I choose the positive side of life.

“Yeah, right, it’s not that easy,” I protested.

“Yes it is,” Jerry said. “Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people will affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It’s your choice how you live life.”

I reflected on what Jerry said. Soon thereafter, I left the restaurant industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it.

Several years later, I heard that Jerry did something you are never supposed to do in a restaurant business: he left the back door open one morning and was held up at gunpoint by three armed robbers. While trying to open the safe, his hand, shaking from nervousness, slipped off the combination. The robbers panicked and shot him. Luckily, Jerry was found relatively quickly and rushed to the local trauma center.

After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Jerry was released from the hospital with fragments of the bullets still in his body.

I saw Jerry about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied, “If I were any better, I’d be twins. Wanna see my scars?”

I declined to see his wounds, but did ask him what had gone through his mind as the robbery took place. “the first thing that went through my mind was that I should have locked the back door,” Jerry replied. “Then, as I lay on the floor, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or I could choose to die. I chose to live.”

“Weren’t you scared? Did you lose consciousness?” I asked.

Jerry continued, “the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read ‘he’s a deadman’. I knew I needed to take action.”

“What did you do?” I asked.

“Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me,” said Jerry. “She asked if I was allergic to anything. ‘Yes’ I replied. The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, ‘Bullets!’ Over their laughter, I told them, ‘I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead’.”

Jerry lived thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything.

Inspirational Story Choose How to Start Your Day

I Asked God

(Author Unknown) 

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity and God gave me a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage and God gave me danger to overcome.
I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted and I received everything I needed.

Inspirational Stories I Asked God

The Buzzard, The Bat and The Bumblebee

(Author Unknown)

If you put a BUZZARD in a pen six or eight feet square and entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of his ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of ten or twelve feet. Without space to run, as is his habit, he will not even attempt to fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.

The ordinary BAT that flies around at night, a remarkably nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like a flash.

A BUMBLEBEE, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, there are lots of people like the BUZZARD, the BAT, and the BEE. They are struggling about with all their problems and frustrations, not realizing that the answer is right there…”above” them…

Have a wonderful day and Don’t forget to look UP!!

Inspirational Story about The Buzzard, The Bat and the Bumblebee

The Late Bloomer

(Author Unknown)

nopal cactusA cactus stood all alone in the desert, wondering why it was stuck in the middle of nowhere.

“I do nothing but stand here all day,” it sighed. “What use am I? I’m the ugliest plant in the desert. My spines are thick and prickly, my leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy. I can’t offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveler. I don’t see that I’m any use at all.”

All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over. It truly was strange- looking.

“I wish I could do something useful,” it sighed.

By day hawks circled high overhead.

“What can I do with my life?” the cactus called. Whether they heard or not, the hawks sailed away.

At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the desert floor.

“What good can I do with my life?” the cactus called. The moon only stared coldly as it mounted its course.

A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail.

“What worthy deed can I do?” the cactus called.

“You?” the lizard laughed, pausing a moment. “Worthy deed? Why, you can’t do anything! The hawks circle way overhead, tracing delicate patterns for us all to admire. The moon hangs high like a lantern at night, so we can see our ways home to our loved ones. Even I, the lowly lizard, have something to do. I decorate the sands with these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along. Buy you? You do nothing but get uglier every day.”

And so it went on, year after year. At last the cactus grew old, and it knew its time was short.

“Oh, Lord,” it cried out, “I’ve wondered so long, and I’ve tried so hard. Forgive me if I’ve failed to find something worthy to do. I fear that now it’s too late.”

But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding, and it knew a surge of joy that erased all despair. At its very tip, like a sudden crown, a glorious flower suddenly opened in bloom.

Never had the desert known such a blossom. Its fragrance perfumed the air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by. The butterflies paused to admire its beauty, and that night even the moon smiled when it rose to find such a treasure.

The cactus heard a voice.

“You have waited long,” the Lord said. “The heart that seeks to do good reflects My glory, and will always bring something worthwhile to the world, something in which all can rejoice – even if for only a moment.”

animated blue line

Saved by a Friend

(Author Unknown)

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school.  His name was Kyle.  It looked like he was carrying all of hi books, and I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday?  He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran right up to him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him.Then he looked up, and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get a life.” He looked at me and said, “Hey thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried his books.

He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!”

He just laughed and handed me half the books. Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke.

I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship. Kyle was valedictorian of our class and I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak.

On Graduation Day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than me and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one), and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began.

“Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach… but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met . He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker, so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later, and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile.

“Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.

animated blue line

Three Yellow Roses

yellow rose(Author Unknown)

I walked into the grocery store not particularly interested in buying groceries. I wasn’t hungry.  The pain of losing my husbnd of 37 years was still too raw.  And this grocery store held so many sweet memories.

Rudy often came with me and almost every time he’d pretend to go off and look for something special. I knew what he was up to. I’d always spot him walking down the aisle with the three yellow roses in his hands. Rudy knew I loved yellow roses.

With a heart filled with grief, I only wanted to buy my few items and leave, but even grocery shopping was different since Rudy had passed on. Shopping for one took time, a little more thought than it had for two.

Standing by the meat, I searched for the perfect small steak and remembered how Rudy had loved his steak. Suddenly a woman came beside me. She was blond, slim and lovely in a soft green pantsuit. I watched as she picked up a large pack of T-bones, dropped them in her basket, hesitated, and then put them back. She turned to go and once again reached for the pack of steaks.

She saw me watching her and she smiled. “My husband loves T-bones, but honestly, at these prices, I don’t know.” I swallowed the emotion down my throat and met her pale blue eyes. “My husband passed away eight days ago,” I told her. Glancing at the package in her hands, I fought to control the tremble in my voice. “Buy him the steaks. And cherish every moment you have together.” She shook her head and I saw the emotion in her eyes as she placed the package in her basket and wheeled away.

I turned and pushed my cart across the length of the store to the dairy products. There I stood, trying to decide which size milk I should buy. A quart, I finally decided and moved on to the ice cream section near the front of the store. If nothing else, I could always fix myself an ice cream cone. I placed the ice cream in my cart and looked down the aisle toward the front.

I saw first the green suit, then recognized the pretty lady coming towards me. In her arms she carried a package. On her face was the brightest smile I had ever seen. I would swear a soft halo encircled her blonde hair as she kept walking towards me, her eyes holding mine. As she came closer, I saw what she held and tears began misting in my eyes.

“These are for you,” she said and placed three beautiful long stemmed yellow roses in my arms.”When you go through the line, they’ll know these are paid for.” She leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on my cheek, then smiled again.

I wanted to tell her what she’d done, what the roses meant, but still unable to speak, I watched as she walked away, tears clouding my vision. I looked down at the beautiful roses nestledin the green tissue wrapping and found it almost unreal. How did she know? Suddenly the answer seemed so clear. I wasn’t alone.

“Oh, Rudy, you haven’t forgotten me, have you?” I whispered, with tears in my eyes. He was still with me, and she was his angel.

animated blue line

The Minister Was Passing Through

Another great story/poem that was sent to me from my friend, Flor Estella. – r.

(Author Unknown)

A minister passing through his church
in the middle of the day,
Decided to pause by the altar
and see who had come to pray.

Just then the back door opened,
a man came down the aisle,
The minister frowned as he saw
the man hadn’t shaved in a while.

His shirt was kind of shabby
and his coat was worn and frayed,
the man knelt, he bowed his head,
Then rose and walked away.

In the days that followed,
each noon time came this chap,
each time he knelt just for a moment,
A lunch pail in his lap.

Well, the minister’s suspicions grew,
with robbery a main fear,
He decided to stop the man and ask him,
“What are you doing here?”

The old man said, he worked down the road.
Lunch was half an hour.
Lunchtime was his prayer time,
For finding strength and power.

“I stay only moments, see,
because the factory is so far away;
as I kneel here talking to the Lord,
This is kind a what I say:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

“DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY,
BUT I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS JIM
CHECKING IN TODAY.”

The minister feeling foolish,
told Jim, that was fine.
He told the man he was welcome
To come and pray just anytime.

Time to go, Jim smiled, said “Thanks.”
He hurried to the door.
The minister knelt at the altar,
he’d never done it before.

His cold heart melted, warmed with love,
and met with Jesus there.
As the tears flowed, in his heart,
he repeated old Jim’s prayer:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, LORD,
HOW HAPPY I’VE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND EACH OTHER’S FRIENDSHIP
AND YOU TOOK AWAY MY SIN.

“I DON’T KNOW MUCH OF HOW TO PRAY, BUT
I THINK ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY.
SO, JESUS, THIS IS ME
CHECKING IN TODAY.”

Past noon one day, the minister noticed
that old Jim hadn’t come.
As more days passed without Jim,
he began to worry some.

At the factory, he asked about him,
learning he was ill.
The hospital staff was worried,
But he’d given them a thrill.

The week that Jim was with them,
Brought changes in the ward.
His smiles, a joy contagious.
Changed people, were his reward.

The head nurse couldn’t understand
why Jim was so glad,
when no flowers, calls or cards came,
Not a visitor he had.

The minister stayed by his bed,
He voiced the nurse’s concern:
No friends came to show they cared.
He had nowhere to turn.

Looking surprised, old Jim spoke
up and with a winsome smile;
“the nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know,
that in here all the while

everyday at noon He’s here,
a dear friend of mine, you see,
He sits right down, takes my hand,
Leans over and says to me:

“I JUST CAME AGAIN TO TELL YOU, JIM,
HOW HAPPY I HAVE BEEN,
SINCE WE FOUND THIS FRIENDSHIP,
AND I TOOK AWAY YOUR SIN.”

animated blue line

Who I Am Makes a Difference

(Author Unknown)

blue ribbonA teacher in New York decided to honor each of her seniors in high school by telling them the difference they each made. Using a process developed by Helice Bridges of Del Mar, California, she called each student to the front of the class, one at a time. First she told them how the student made a difference to her and the class. Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters which read, “Who I Am Makes a Difference.”

     Afterwards the teacher decided to do a class project to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a community. She gave each of the students three more ribbons and instructed them to go out and spread this acknowledgment ceremony. Then they were to follow up on the results, see who honored whom and report back to the class in about a week.

     One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a nearby company and honored him for helping him with his career planning. He gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his shirt. Then he gave him two extra ribbons, and said, “We’re doing a class project on recognition, and we’d like you to go out, find somebody to honor, give them a blue ribbon, then give them the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a third person to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going. Then please report back to me and tell me what happened.”

     Later that day the junior executive went in to see his boss, who had been noted, by the way, as being kind of a grouchy fellow. He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The boss seemed very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon and would he give him permission to put it on him. His surprised boss said, “Well, sure.” The junior executive took the blue ribbon and placed it right on his boss’s jacket above his heart. As he gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, “Would you do me a favor? Would you take this extra ribbon and pass it on by honoring somebody else? The young boy who first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in school and we want to keep this recognition ceremony going and find out how it affects people.”

     That night the boss came home to his 14-year-old son and sat him down. He said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior executives came in and told me he admired me and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine. He thinks I’m a creative genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says ‘Who I Am Makes A Difference’ on my jacket above my heart. He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor. As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon and I thought about you. I want to honor you. “My days are really hectic and when I come home I don’t pay a lot of attention to you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in school and for your bedroom being a mess, but somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person in my life. You’re a great kid and I love you!”

     The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook. He looked up at his father and said through his tears, “I was planning on committing suicide tomorrow, Dad, because I didn’t think you loved me. Now I don’t need to.”

animated blue line

 

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