An old Chinese woman had two water cans which were attached to a yoke. Each day she put the yoke over her shoulders and went down to the river, filled the cans, and walked back to her modest hut. The water can on the right side of the yoke was fine and sturdy; when she arrived home it was always full. But the can on the left had a crack in it. By the time the woman arrived home, half the water was usually gone.
My sister's handicapped child could not walk, talk, hold his head up, or control any limb of his body.
The water can always felt inferior to his partner. He was ashamed that he was cracked and wasn't pulling his weight. One day he turned to the woman and apologized for being defective. The woman smiled gently and said, "Did you think I didn't know that you had a crack, and water dripped from you? Look at the path from the river to my hut. Do you see all the beautiful flowers that are growing on the one side of the path? Those are the flowers that I planted there, that you watered every day as I walked home from the river."
My sister had a severely handicapped child, a beautiful boy who could not walk, talk, hold his head up, control any limb of his body. But Yankie could smile and he could laugh. He radiated peace, tranquility, and happiness; because his body was merely a shadow of a body, it could not conceal the holy soul that occupied it. The purity of his soul shone through his eyes and had a powerful effect on everyone who knew him. He inspired love. He inspired people to devote themselves to helping others. And he taught everyone to look beyond the façade of a body and to see the Divine soul that is the essence of the person.