One way that this tale connects with contemporary reality is through its emphasis on the importance of creativity. While the senior potter has achieved mastery of his art, he has also gotten stuck in a fixed attitude toward the work. The joy of creating, which comes from infusing new energy into the process and from innovating, has largely left him.
The freshness and innocence that the boy brings to ceramics is necessary, but not sufficient to enable him to make the kinds of beautiful things that the potter excels in. Whatever the art, practice and discipline are also needed to succeed. There is no substitute for his own creative spirit, but he needs a mentor and knowledge of the whole process.
Furthermore, the idea of getting past a setback is emphasized. The boy's journey brings the tragic loss of almost all the pots. But the boy still has the last shard, which contains all important essences of the potter's gifts. The boy had to follow all the steps in his journey.
A Single Shard tells...
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