Over any period of time there are things that go right and things that don’t go as intended. How we react/respond to those situations makes all the difference.

Following is an old story with a timely message. During the coming holiday season see if there is something you might be missing.

An elderly Chinese woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which 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 walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.

“I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.” The old woman smiled, “did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.

“Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.”

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.

So, to all of my cracked pot friends, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path.

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It has been said: People only see what they are looking for. It was wrong for Democrats to defend President Barack Obama when he intentionally and knowlingly lied to the American public and it is wrong today for Republicans to defend President Donald Trump unconditionally despite his many transgressions.

On Oct. 24 Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake said in a speech on the Senate floor: “We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals…I have children and grandchildren to answer to, and so, I will not be complicit.”

Flake and fellow Republican senator Bob Corker of Tennessee have denounced President Trump’s behavior and said they will not run for re-election in 2018. I believe many Americans share their concern about Trump. Party hardliners refuse to admit the current discourse in Washington is damaging to all of us.

Trump’s supporters say the president was elected by the people to bring change to Washington and he deserves the support of Congress to implement his pro-growth America First Agenda even if they don’t approve of his divisive and contentious behavior. His brash actions often make him his own worst enemy and portrays him as acting unpresidential.

Many people were willing to give him time to grow into the job and become presidential. Many of those people are now learning that Trump has no intentions of changing his style and doesn’t care if he does not bring dignity to the office.

Instead of being revered for their stance, Flake and Corker have been criticized by members of their own party for saying they’ve had enough. Some have even said they should stay in Washington and give a voice to like-minded Americans. Republicans need to be unified as they attempt to pass tax cut legislation.

Flake and Corker say we can’t pretend the lack of civility in Washington politics…on both sides of the aisle…doesn’t matter. They are disgusted with the tone of the rhetoric and they believe it is damaging to our status both at home and abroad.

While Flake’s remarks were directed at Trump, I’ve taken excerpts and changed them slightly to address the lack of respect for values and principles by leaders of both parties in Washington. Flake said the following.

“We are at a moment when it seems that our democracy is more defined by our discord and our dysfunction than it is by our values and principles…and we are now at a time when we must risk our careers in favor of our principles.

“We can not stand by and allow personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth and decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons.

“Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused…and when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy. Such behavior does not project strength…it instead projects a corruption of the spirit, and weakness.

“When we remain silent and fail to act when we know that that silence and inaction is the wrong thing to do—because of political considerations, because we might make enemies…then we dishonor our principles and forsake our obligations.

“The principles that underlie our politics, the values of our founding, are too vital to our identity and to our survival to allow them to be compromised by the requirements of politics. If we remain silent when we should speak, that silence equals complicity.”