THE CRACKED POT: A STORY FOR ANYONE WHO’S NOT QUITE PERFECT
A water-bearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole that she carried across her neck. One of the pots had a crack in it. While 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 mistress’s house, while the cracked pot arrived half full.
This went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to her master’s house. After two years of what the cracked pot perceived to be a bitter failure, it (the pot) spoke to the water-bearer one day by the stream:
“I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’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 pot said.
The waterbearer said,
“As we return to the mistress’s 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 wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the 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 I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.”
“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.”
Moral: We each have our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.
Should you suffer from a learning disability you need to find a way around it and find a way to cope just as you cope with a physical disability by using crutches you also have to find a way around a cognitive problems by compensating or coping.
Cognition difficulties include:
- Poor planning, organisation skills, poor problem solving and difficulties multi-tasking;
- Poor short-term memory;
- Problems understanding new concepts;
- Attention deficits;
- Language difficulties.
The emotional and behavioral side is also affected:
- Temper tantrums
- Rapid mood swings;
- Reduced motivation;
- Anxiety and inflexibility
Memory is not just a ‘thing’ that we have or we do not have and it involves a process in order for you to retrieve the information later on. For those of us with a memory problem, we can take comfort in knowing that there are various ‘external memory strategies’ to help us remember.
There are some simple measures which can be taken to organise yourself better within your home or school life.
The first thing to do is to adapt your environment and to always keep a notepad and pen on your person. A key ring by the door is always a good idea, as the first thing we lose is our car keys. Have a special bowl where you walk into your house and you put your wallet and glasses in it.
Routines are so important and so always carry out the same activities on the same day. Set your cellphone to ten minutes before your appointment so it reminds you about the appointment. If you are able to, set your watch to beep every hour as this helps you keep an eye on your time during the day.
Pill boxes are brilliant to keep an eye on your pills and whether you have taken them. I have overdosed on my pills purely by accident as I could not remember if I had taken my pills or not. The boxes help me to see the obvious to others.
When you are cooking, you should set a timer next to the stove to remind you to stop cooking so you do not burn the house down.
Here is an exercise to try:
Read through the following list of ten words. How many do you think you will be able to remember? Now break up the list into three categories or ‘chunks’ (animals, jobs, clothes). Once you have sorted the items into their categories, try to line together the items in each chunk by making an association, creating a story, or creating a visual image :
Cat Postman Sock
Mouse Lawyer Trousers
Elephant Hat Secretary
Tie Snake Electrician
Boots Politician Swan
Remember we have 7 intelligences and not everyone is able to learn in the same way that another person will learn. You are to ‘tap’ into your intelligence and start learning in that direction. For example, my dominate intelligences are ‘visual’ and ‘kinaesthetic’ . I need to ‘see’ what I am learning and I need to ‘touch’ what I am learning. Remember we have 5 senses and we are to use all these senses in order to learn: Touch, visual, auditory, smell, taste. Use your imagination when trying to study. Use your dominant intelligences to make the learning ‘stick’.
In my next article I am going to go over the 7 intelligences.
In order to test yourself on attention the below test is very useful. First you must say the words as they are written. Secondly you should say the words in the colour they are written in, for example BLACK, PINK. So I would say, first time round… ‘black and pink.’ Second time round I would say ‘red and blue.’ This tests your attention span.
PINK BLUE YELLOW BLACK PURPLE YELLOW BROWN GREEN
First time round I would say:
Pink, blue, yellow, black, purple, yellow, brown, green.
Second time round I would say :
Blue, yellow, blue, purple, black, red, green, brown.
This exercise should be done at a fast pace and you should also be timed so that we can see how fast your attention span is.
There are many types of memory, but I do not want to bore you with the medical terms. I have tried to give you the outline that will help you in your day to day life. Have you done any of the above exercises? I would love to hear from you regarding how you have dealt with your memory shortfalls or how you helped someone close to you cope; just comment in the “your thoughts section”.
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I was born in Harare in 1973. The best days of my life were raising my two children, Shannen and Niall. In December 2003 we had a horrific car accident in which my two precious children went to heaven. In the accident I suffered a frontal and temporal lobe injury. I decided to rehabilitate myself as there were no facilities in Zimbabwe at that time. In 2008 I studied Neuro Psychology for 4 years through an Australian university. I then decided to further my education and became a Neurofeedback Practitioner through the Behavioual Medicine Research and Training Foundation in America.
I wrote a book called ‘Eternity in my heart’ about my struggles and despair which can be downloaded for free on www.janine.zimshoppingmalls.com. I am passionate about helping children with learning disabilities and passionate about my country, Zimbabwe. I have worked from home for many years…