This I Believe

Judy - West Hartford, Connecticut
Entered on May 22, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe in the power of cookie jars and candy bowls. Some might say that I simply believe in nurturing, but my belief is that we each have the ability to nurture in big and small ways and that there are things we can do to make our lives more open to others.

Since my early teens, I have seen what can happen when a cookie jar is filled with homemade cookies, chocolate chips or ginger crackles are preferred in my home now…but, really, any kind will do. As a teenager, I would make those chocolate chip cookies and would find people congregating in the kitchen eating warm cookies while sharing events of the day. It brought my large and busy family together.

Now, as a mother of teens, everyone who visits my house knows that the cookie jar will always be filled with goodies. Adult friends, people doing work in my house, my son’s band members, my daughter’s hipster pals all check the jar and have a sample or two. In doing so, they share their thoughts with me. I have listened to new songs and new dreams, shared travel tips and learned much about how to be an even better parent.

When I started working after completing my degrees, a new boss advised me to keep a candy bowl on my desk filled with sweets. He said that it would help me to know the pulse of the organization. He was right. I have had that bowl filled now for 20 some years. My employees, colleagues, office cleaners and others know where to find a hard candy or piece of chocolate and I know that they will come in and share themselves when they do. I have listened to tales of love and loss, I have been praised and taken to task and I have learned better ways to run my businesses and better ways to be as a person.

I believe that we all need someone to listen to the small things that come to mind each day. We can learn so much about ourselves through the experiences of others at the same time that we provide a shoulder to cry on, a straight man for a joke or a sounding board for an idea. The cookie jar and the candy bowl show that the door is open, the heart and mind are open …come on in and have a chat.