Friday, September 5, 2008

"You are going to be a rich man"

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.

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