Tuesday, June 24, 2014


An Inspirational Tale from my Teaching Story Archive for winners who think they are losers...

A Teaching Story

Let me tell you one of my favourite teaching stories. 

This story is for parents, teachers, mentors, especially those who want to achieve their own unfulfilled dreamsunrealized desires and unrealistic ambitions vicariously through their children and protegees. 

Such people put a lot of pressure on children and drive the poor kids and overwhelm them with high expectations.

Everyone wants their children to stand first and everyone wants to WIN

In the rat race to success there is no place for LOSERS or even those who come second.

In the competitive world of today we all adopt the “winner takes all and loser is left standing small philosophy of life.

This story is also for those perfectionists, at the workplace and at home, who expect everyone to be perfect like themselves and this quest for perfection makes everyone’s life hell…

Most importantly, this story is for you and me, for all of us, who want to be winners…

Read on…


A water bearer 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, so some water leaked out of it.

The other pot was perfect and had no leaks, so this perfect pot always delivered a full portion of water. 

At the end of the long walk by the water bearer carrying water from the river to the masters house, the cracked pot always arrived only half full. 

For two years this went on daily, with the water bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his masters house. 

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, fulfilled in the design for which it was made.

But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection.

The cracked pot felt miserable that it was unable to accomplish what it had been made to do.

The cracked pot felt it was a loser, while the perfect pot was a winner.

After two years of enduring this bitter shame, the contrite cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day when he was filling up water from the river.

The cracked pot said to the water bearer: “I am ashamed of myself and I apologize to you.”

The water bearer asked the sad cracked pot: “Why are you feeling so guilty, so penitent, so repentant …? Tell me, dear pot, what is it that you are so ashamed of…?”

The cracked pot said full of remorse: “I feel sorry that for these past two years I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do extra work and you do not get full value from your efforts.”

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful flowers on the side of the path, and was consoled somewhat.

But at the end of the trail, the cracked pot still felt remorse, shame and a feeling of guilt because it had leaked out half its water load.

And so again, the pot apologized to the water bearer for its failure.

The water bearer said to the cracked pot:

“Did you not notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, and not on the other pots side…?

That is because I have always known about your flaw and I took advantage of it. 

I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walked back from the stream, you have watered them. 

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. 

Without you being just the way you are, would we have these beautiful flowers on the path, and would I be able to give these lovely flowers to the master, to grace his house.

The perfect pot only carries water, but you carry water and also help beautify your surroundings too.” 


There are no winners and there are no losers – everyone is a winner in his or her own way.

Yes, you are a winner in your own way 

Each of us has our own unique flaws. 

We all are cracked pots. 

But it is the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding and make you unique. 

You must consider each person for what he naturally is, and look for the good qualities in him.

Every person is useful to society in his own way just like the cracked pot was useful in its own way.

Most importantly, you must look for the winner within your own self, maybe hiding deep inside you. 

If you introspect you will realize that you are a winner in your own way.

So please do not compare yourself with others and do not pay too much heed to what other people say.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Did you like this article?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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