The cracked jar

EN ESPANOL: La vajita con rajaduras
EM PORTUGUES: vaso com rachaduras

An Indian legend tells of a man who carried water to his village every day, in two large jars tied to the ends of a wooden pole, which he balanced on his back.
One of the jars was older than the other, and had some small cracks; every time the man covered the distance to his house, half of the water was lost.

The younger jar was always very proud of its performance, safe in the knowledge that it was up to the mission it had been made for, while the other jar was mortified with shame at only fulfilling half of its allotted task.

It was so ashamed that one day, while the man got ready to fetch water from the well, it decided to speak to him:
– I want to apologize, but because of the many years of service, you are only able to deliver half of my load, and quench half of the thirst which awaits you at your home.

The man smiled, and said:
– When we return, observe carefully the path.

And so it did. And the jar noticed that, on its side, many flowers and plants grew.

– See how nature is more lovely on your side? – commented the man. – I always knew you were cracked, and decided to make use of this fact.
‘I planted flowers and vegetables, and you have always watered them.
‘I have picked many roses to decorate my house with, I have fed my children with lettuce, cabbage and onions.
‘If you were not as you are, how could I have done that?

“All of us, at some point, grow old and start to acquire other qualities. We can always make the most of each one of these new qualities and obtain a good result.”

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  1. Mohammad Ali Gaad says:

    A good story indeed! we should not follow other that how much they contain but we should have a look at ourselves that how much we got potentiality to do any task. Adolf hitler said ” he who compares other with himself is a fool,indeed “

  2. Ma. Amor Madlang-awa says:

    So cute…I hope I can be the jar someday

  3. harsha vardhan says:

    This story is narrated by my grandpa when i was a kid , he s no more now .

  4. Chandan says:

    The story was just amazing….I liked it….just catchy and yes moral tooo holds along in the story….gr8 work…n thanks a lot,…god bless you…

  5. Shanky says:


  6. jessie says:

    thats great, i felt like a bit of a cracked jar today that made me feel heaps better

  7. Aarti Kalro says:

    respect the old.. :)

  8. Dawit Nebiyou says:

    good word,thanks ,i like the story and i know that the old jar doing well for others and gets higher and highet than the new one.thanks in advance.

  9. Kavita Srivastava says:

    So true, each of us have unique qualities. But instead of using our true potential we are always copying others and want to be mirror image of others. Never mind, i will start nurturing my own quality !

  10. george says:

    muy inspirador de su parte……aveces vencidos por el miedo caemos al suelo y nos dejamos pisotear….
    Hay q sacarle el máximo provecho a todo lo q nos suceda…

  11. Nidia Torcates says:

    Epa unos de los mejores escritores del mundo… bueno para mi el mejor de todos…. me encanta

  12. Mies says:

    What a lovely story…. I am the old jar….but having difficulty believing that some good may come of that.

  13. matebie getu says:

    that’s true. If we take some time & think about it, what we think of as our curse is, our gift.

  14. edmond says:

    Hello All,

    this story fits to you dear Paulo.Think that your role may be that’s of the old jar.Thank you for watering our souls!

    All the best!

    1. Alia says:

      SUPERB!! :)

  15. gipsy Nirvana says:

    i read his books- The alchemist(Twice), eleven minutes, Brida, the winner stands alone, Veronica decides to die, Aleph(i just bOught it). he is mah inspiratiOn. he iz the best.

  16. premium says:

    this is great article paulo. thanks :)

  17. Khush says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I’m Indian and while growing up I was always told this story by my parents. The only difference was that the pot wasn’t really described as old, but worn and imperfect. I have to say this is one of my favorite stories.

  18. Zelalem says:

    Great Is My Word ! Thank You, Paulo !

  19. Yan says:

    chinese version:







    -看到大自然在你那一边更为美好么?-主人评论道- 我知道你有些裂缝,所以决定利用这一点。




  20. anonymous says:

    paulo,, I just read your book the alchemist and I would just like to thank you because now I can finally say that I am no longer afraid. I will not think about the past neither the future.. I will live the moment and do the best that I could..
    To be honest I never knew anything about you, until a stranger handed me your book, It took a little while before i read it.. thank you so much it inspired me though im dying.. thank you.. Im no longer afraid..

  21. Ruzi says:

    So true. That is why we need our kids to grow up in a full family with Grandparents as they can give the children all the wisdom and experience the way parents can never do