How many times have you been absolutely convinced of something, only to discover how wrong you were?  I’m sure everyone can attest to experiencing something like this.

Even with the small things, like looking for the salt in the cupboard and not finding it.  You could have sworn it wasn’t in the cupboard, only to open the cupboard and find it.

We like to think we know everything and we like to know that we are always right.  I came across the poem “The Cookie Thief” by Valerie Cox.  I love this poem because it’s a funny story we can relate to that carries a wonderful message.  It teaches us to challenge our own assumptions and to keep an open mind because what we may think to be true may not always be the case.  By acknowledging this we can grow emotionally within ourselves and in our relationships with others.

It’s important to be aware that what you think is true may not necessarily be a fact.  We can’t be experts in all the areas of life and we need to accept that.  What do I take away from this?

  • Keep an open mind. Even our most deeply held beliefs can be wrong.
  • We can’t always choose the situations we get into but we can choose our response.
  • Listen to what others say, be open to others ideas, beliefs and knowledge
  • Don’t judge a book by its cover. What you see may not be accurate at all!  The lady in the poem attributed the man’s behaviour to rudeness rather than considering the fact that the man had a good reason to take the cookies.
  • Be more patient. Reserve judgement until you have all the facts
  • As Aussies, we pride ourselves on being easy going and friendly with old fashioned values. Don’t always look for negative behaviour.  Most people are kind, caring and generous.

Never assume that things are the way they appear on the surface.  Sometimes in life, we need to instead take a deep breath, and readjust our perspective from time to time.

‘The Cookie Thief’

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight.

She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be… grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock.

She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do.

With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other, she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother.

This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called.

She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete.

As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share.

Too late to apologise, she realised with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

– Valerie Cox


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