I believe in banana cakes with chocolate icing and chocolate chip cookies on top.
I believe in the miracle of one simple gesture, especially when it is as easy as baking a cake. Sure you can eat a cake and it tastes good, but when someone bakes one especially for you, it gives you something else as well. It means someone care enough to think of you on your birthday, or to wish you luck on your next big biology exam. When I asked a friend what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday, his reply caught me off guard. His answer was so specific: a banana cake with chocolate icing and chocolate chip cookies on top. It seemed so random to me, but it was what he wanted.
I never realized how such a simple action of baking a cake could make such a difference in someone’s life. I had not really thought about what a cake could mean, because to me it was just a symbol of celebration, but I quickly learned that it could be much more than that. The individuality of each cake showed me how different everyone’s personalities were. While I found that I could bring joy by baking, I realized that everyone had their gestures to show how much they cared as well, a lot of times I just was not paying enough attention to value them.
As a compay leader on the dance team in high school, I was in charge of installing spirit in the team, and coming up with creative ways to implement sisterly bonds between all the members. Aside from my duties as a leader, I decided to bake a cake for people on their birthday. I had never thought of it as part of my job or something I was obligated to do, but just a way to make someone’s day a little extra special. It soon became a tradition that birthdays on our team were celebrated with a cake, a little symbol that came to be so meaningful.
Previously, my cakes had never been more than desserts, but as I came to realize the impact they made on others I began thinking about all the other small gestures that people do for me everyday that I never stop to acknowledge. For example, I realized our parents would come to our dressing room and decorate it with streamers and balloons before each football game in high school. At the time, it was cool, but I had never really thought about how much their support meant to me. It was just a small gesture, but it showed us how they cared.
Everytime I go to bake a cake, I now think of how appreciative people are for what I do. It astounded me that a simple task could have such a great impact on others. Everyone’s particular favorite cake was always different; I had chocolate lovers, cookie-cake fanatics, and the occasional person who preferred red velvet cake. Seeing people’s faces light up when I gave them a cake, made every minute I had put into baking it worth the effort. I believe that those little gestures count for more than you realize, and it is when you least expect it, that even just a cake, can make a world of difference.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.