Ever since I was Little, I have always found faith in fortune cookies. You know, those little Pac-man shaped wafers that cone with a slip of paper on the inside – A dessert treat with a filling better than that of a Twinkie.
My fascination first started with the once a month family trip to the department store. Like two hungry lions after a full day of hunting, my mother and I would feast on the Chinese cuisine procured from the local hole-in-wall Chinese restaurant. Finally, after we had had our fill, my mother and I would indulge in the everlasting wisdom of the Chinese.
“It says ‘Innocence, once lost, can never be regained.’” She said as she handed back the slip of paper. “It’s a good one.”
Feeling more puzzled rather than enlightened, I politely brought our finished trays to the trash.
Since then I have grown to better understand the language of the Chinese, their philosophical metaphors and their humble pieces of everyday advice. Indeed now, I give innocence a brief thought every once in a while, as a means to better form a decision. This small heeding has only recently become my life’s motto. It’s like a little something from my childhood that stays with me as I become more adult.
Okay, so every once in a while, I still set my eyes on a puzzler. Like that one time the cookie said, “A Wise Lumberjack always carries a sharp saw.” I found myself thinking. Lumberjack? Saw? What does that have to do with anything? And since when do the Chinese have any knowledge about the Lumber Industry? It just doesn’t make sense.
Perhaps it’s a lesson of preparation; Always carry the necessary tools for the job. Or maybe it’s something entirely different.
But whatever the true meaning this fortune may hold is of no importance to me. What matters most are the hopes and ideas I have come away with; I aspire to someday be a writer, and though it is rare that inspiration hits me, I never leave home without a sharpened pencil.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.