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. liza says:

    at the turkey we have like that stories ,we like it …it is full of wise…thanks…

  2. neeraj says:

    great its very heart touching…………i love to read all ur stories…..fantastic………….

  3. anne says:

    thank you for every inspiring stories you are sharing us.

  4. K S S Pillai says:

    It is only natural that we develop cracks as we grow old. One must accept this fact of life and try to make the best use of these cracks instead of pretending that there are none or blaming others for these so-called misfortunes. Recently I read the story of a 95-year old painter confined to his wheel chair but still painting with vigor. Let us emulate him and share the God-given gifts with others.

  5. Abbie says:

    We get to know and learn almost anything in life as we get older. And as soon as we understood it, we start living. This is simply a beautiful story, yet full of compelling lessons in life.

  6. Shreya says:

    Paulo, You always have something wise to share, and its wonderful to go through your posts.. God Bless You.


    jajaja. muchas veces no nos damos que dios nos pones las cosas faciles y siempres renegamos de eso, pero en realidad dios no manda señales y no las vemos por nuestra soberbia. muy buena reflexion.

  8. criststar11 says:

    Ecco la traduzione italiana per chi lo gradisce. Muita luz Paulo ;) Io mi sento un vaso molto molto vecchio ahahahahahahahahahah… no so come prendere questa cosa ;) Ciaouuuuuuuuuu

    Una leggenda indiana narra di un uomo che ogni giorno portava l’acqua in due grandi vasi legati alle estremití  di un palo di legno, fino al suo villaggio. Li manteneva in equilibriosulla schiena. Uno dei vasi era pií¹ vecchio dell’altro, e aveva alcune piccole crepe, ogni volta che l’uomo percoreva la distanza da casa sua, la metí  dell’acqua andava persa.

    Il vaso pií¹ giovane era sempre stato molto orgoglioso della sua performance, nella certezza che era stato creato per quella missione, mentre l´altro vaso era mortificato dalla vergogna perché soddisfaceva soltanto la metí  del suo compito assegnato.

    Si vergognava cosí­ tanto che un giorno, mentre l’uomo si preparí² per andare a prendere l’acqua dal pozzo, decise di parlare con lui:- Voglio scusarmi, ma a causa dei molti anni di servizio, sono in grado di fornire solo la metí  del mio carico, e cosí­ placare la metí  della sete dentro casa tua.

    L’uomo sorrise, e disse:- Quando torneremo, osservare attentamente il percorso.

    E cosí¬ fece. Il vaso notato che, sul suo lato, fiori e piante erano cresciute.

    – Vedi come la natura è pií¹ bella dalla tua parte? – Commentí² l’uomo. – Ho sempre saputo che eri spaccato, e ho deciso di avvalere questo fatto. ‘Ho piantato fiori e ortaggi, che hai sempre innaffiato. ‘Ho raccolto tante rose per decorare la mia casa e ho dato da mangiare ai miei figli con lattuga, cavoli e cipolle. ‘Se tu non fossi stato come sei, come avrei potuto fare questo?

    “Tutti noi, ad un certo punto, invecchiamo ed iniziamo ad acquisire altre qualití . íˆ sempre possibile apportare la maggior parte di ciascuna di queste nuove qualití  e ottenere un buon risultato. “

  9. nkmurali says:

    Amazing and inspiring story.

  10. Shine says:

    Dearest Paulo,
    You may delete this comment. All I wanted to say was thanks for your podcast on signs……………..
    I feel one’s intution plays an important role in knowing whether its a sign or not. You were right, your own heart can never betray. It has never betrayed me. Thanks for making me meet my best friend and well wisher. I realized its importance only after reading the Alchemist…………………..
    love Avantika

  11. Anna says:

    has done me good.
    Thank you

  12. jackienoriega says:


  13. Joachim says:

    we can not see with our eyes, thanks for this healing story

  14. M. Anis chhipa says:

    Mr.Paulo you always bring inspiring things for motivating us and keep energizing us via your enormous words which allow us to make a best thing of worst thing…….. Thanx..

  15. shilpa says:


  16. lok bahadur shahi says:

    Great! Paulo you have given me many things like such beautiful word.
    I am indebted of you.

  17. sayid yasoob says:

    beautiful…. Heart warming

  18. Hazel says:

    Wow! that story makes me happy. Its like..your saying that even our flaws can have a positive effect for other people. I’m glad i read this story. Thank u Paulo <3

  19. Oshin says:

    Short but sweet n inspiring one..loved it…He have included many things in this short story.

  20. aguafuego says:

    eu te amo

  21. David Titus says:

    Never hold your palms tightly when u measure food for U.Lets the grains fall onto ground.There are ants and birds who rely on the providence of God.

  22. mercy says:

    i am lonely last night not knowing the reason why. but from this story i gathered my strength and face this morning with more cheerful attitude. thank you!

  23. Happy Woman says:

    I needed to hear that hugs Mr. Coehlo….

  24. Alessandra says:

    So heart warming and inspiring…..thank you so much.

  25. Well says:

    “Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” L. Cohen

    1. mini panigrahi says:

      loved it

  26. william richard brooks y garcia says:

    me encanto aleph los e leido todos tus libros uno de mis escritores preferidos nos llenas el alma y nuestra busqueda es el camino sin duda un abrazo y gran iluminacion dios en ti.

  27. I have always had a fondness for “cracked” jars. When I hold one in my hands I try to imagine the stories it has to tell. I run my fingers along the fine spider-web lines etched across the surface; the missing chunk gouged out of the lip that is coarse and (at times) unforgiving as it scratches my finger tips while the history and acquired knowledge unfolds. When I hold a new jar, I cannot feel a story””this jar is beautiful to look at and has potential but there is nothing to be learned from it yet.
    And now that I find myself becoming a “cracked” jar, I am most grateful for my kneecaps””they keep my thighs from pooling around my ankles :)

  28. marjana says:

    One story from me:
    Long time ago in a small village lived a woman – good Catholic. One day, woman went on a church to confess.
    Dear Father, please forgive me if I made sin. I have deep feelings and I love three man.
    Without no more words Priest throw out from the Church and proclaim her “a WITCH” .
    In those time witchcraft was punish by burning in the center of the village.
    Before they burned her Priest ask her again:
    Do you love three man as you said?
    Young woman said:
    Yes I love and If that is a sin, Dear God please forgive me.
    They burned young woman and her family had to leave the village.
    After several months on the steps of the Church Priest found a book.
    He opened first page-It was Diary of the woman burned.
    Her words in there were:
    Dear God I have three man in my life and I love them all
    First one is “MY SUPPORT”-He is my father
    Second one is “MY LOVE”-That’s my husband
    Third one is “MY STRENGTH “-That’s my son


    1. David Titus says:

      Wonderful story…thought provoking as well

  29. Juscelino Cândido de Oliveira says:

    simplesmente lindo,aos preconceituosos leiam com muita atení§í£o.Como li dias desse na net: acordei meus ossos fizeram alguns barulhos,crack,crack.deduzi ní£o estou ficando velho,eu estou é crocante.

  30. Psalmbody says:

    Simply beautiful.

  31. josie says:

    i am just a teenager and i think of this world as a place where i can show my potentials and also simply to enjoy. i do respect old people, older than i am but i never actually look at them the way the Indian man looked at the old jar. indeed, it inspired me in a way

  32. This is a wonderful encouraging story. I always believe that older people have wisdom to path on to the children, wisdom they have acquire over many many years. When one is old one still can contribute to society in so many ways.

    1. Christie Hall says:

      I so agree.Sometimes we can learn from the adventures in the life of others.

  33. ReNtha. says:

    from nothing to something….!!

  34. Sumayyah Qureshi says:

    Your stories are always inspiring. Thank you so much.

  35. julio says:

    lo que dice este cuento es que no importa cuan viejos se pueda ser siempre estamos realizando una tarea importante aunque nosotros no lo veamos,nunca dejamos de ser importantes por algo estamos en esta vida sino fuera asi ya dios nos hubiese quitado de ese lugar y nos hubiese llevado a otro donde si fueramos importantes para alguien o algo

  36. Amazing and inspiring story. Your greatest success and happiness in life will be found when you use your natural abilities to their fullest extent.
    Thank you,

  37. cynthia pugh says:

    Made me laugh . Getting older is tough, but again a Smiley reminder that although we may be cracked and worn we have given allot through the years and will continue to do so. Weeds are flowers too, All in the garden is beautiful.

  38. Your words are quickly becoming my morning habit, like coffee. I feel your warmth and friendship and thank you, Paulo.

  39. ANILKUMAR.N says:

    Its Really a thought provocking story.If we put together the old men”s experience and knowledge with yongsters energy and enthusiasm the result will be wonderful. Thanks lot PC for that story..

  40. Una historia bella para reflexionar y replantear nuestro paradigma,,

  41. Isabel Bascoy says:

    Es muy interesante este cuento, el cual deberí­amos aplicarlo en cada uno de nosotros, pues cada dí­a que pasa aprendemos cosas nuevas que podemos emplear y realizar, el problema es que no nos damos cuenta de ello lo más mí­nimo; normalmente vemos pasar la vida por delante de nosotros sin pena ni gloria y creemos que todo está aprendido y todo lo que hacemos es rutinario, sin darle la menor importancia, aunque seguramente muchas de las cosas que hacemos son tan grandes como la labor de la vasija rota.

  42. eleonora says:

    “Tutti noi, ad un certo punto, invecchiano e iniziare ad acquisire altre qualití . íˆ sempre possibile apportare la maggior parte di ciascuna di queste nuove qualití  e ottenere un buon risultato. ” Condivido pienamente!!!!!!!!!!

  43. Edvaldo Albino says:

    É preciso desenvolver algumas percepí§íµes para entender as facetas da vida e nela navegar sem medo das torrentes que por ventura venhamos passar!..

  44. srilakshmi says:

    Very happy to read about an Indian story in your blog sir. Your words and stories inspire us, making it easier to shape ourselves at becoming better individuals.

  45. John Joey says:

    This reminds me to strive for more wisdom in life. Thank you Paulo

  46. Prvs says:

    Th older pot wasnt uncomfortable wid th fact th it has gone old.,bt it was unsecure wid th fact that it had 2 compete somhow directly/indirect wid a younger 1…it woudnt had evn cared unless th younger pot told him….or woud had been unknown of its own grace unles th farmer told him….
    Its th way we humans r living our lif…
    1).living on others word
    2).usually thinking ourself inferior,no self believe
    3).living lif ignoring th gift of nature n god even at our worse
    4).last bt nt th least,PAULO COELHO

  47. Virginia says:

    It`s very nice story. I love to read all that you write. Help me in many time. Thank a lot. God bless you….

  48. Loma Loots says:

    How perfectly it illustrates the uniqueness of the human being. Just like the jar, we do not always notice and realize our where we have added value to nature or another’s life. If every person is him/herself and the best they can be, true to their nature, then we will fullfill our divine purpose.
    Reminds me of the story of Nahum of Bratslav before the great Tribunal. He only trembled in fear when he was asked ‘Why were you not Nahum?’ See, he could answer all the other questions, like ‘Why have you not been a leader like Moses, a warrior like David, or a wise like Solomon?’ He was not creat to be Moses, David or anyone else. He was created to be Nahum! Loma is created to be Loma and YOU are created to be YOU. As long as YOU are YOU, you will serve your unique purpose which no other can fullfill.

  49. Nazanin says:

    fantastic as always …

  50. روبرت .غیواندیان says: