As we grow up and begin making choices for ourselves, we have an oversupply of advice. You are told by advertisers to “buy now” and “don’t wait ‘til tomorrow”; friends say “all the cool kids are doin’ it” and “you can’t get pregnant the first time”; parents say “be home by eleven” and “as long as you live under my roof, you’ll follow my rules.” Let us not forget the subtle – yet powerful – messages that we find in crunchy little cookies commonly served after Asian meals; the fortune cookie. What is it about fortunes that we find so intriguing? I think that it’s the slightest possibility that someone else may have insight into your future activities and/or wellbeing. This is most likely the same reason that palm readers, astrologists, and fortune tellers continue to draw new and repeat customers; despite the ludicrousness of their claims. I have to admit that I enjoy cracking open the fortune box to reveal a statement of revelation not to mention my lucky numbers (the Powerball lottery is up to $92 million).
Can you imagine someone back in the ‘90s opening a fortune to find the phrase “business opportunities will present themselves to you soon”, only to watch Mad Money that night and hear Cramer yelling about how great a buy Enron is? Or perhaps your cookie relays the message “you are surrounded by caring friends” and the next day those same friends forget your birthday. In all seriousness, I have wondered about the sayings that appear on the papers and have asked myself if this one was ‘meant’ for me. Did the stars align last night and we experience a near cataclysmic destruction of live as we know it? Probably not. I believe that fortunes are great for making us stop – even if for only a brief moment – and think. Just make sure that you sleep before making any big decisions; and remind your friends that forgetting a birthday is an unforgivable sin.