Use positive thinking with fortune cookies

Published 10:15 am Wednesday, May 29, 2024

By Bonnie Brown



How many of you read your fortune cookie fortune and then select another cookie if the fortune is not to your liking?  I admit, I have.  Not often, but occasionally I’m unable to get a definite read on whether it’s a positive or negative fortune.  Raise your hand if you read your horoscope on a regular basis.  Yes, lots of hands went up.  I thought so.  You, my friends, are optimists.  

Why do we need or want these external indicators of what lies ahead of us in this journey called life?  Sometimes we just need some encouraging sign that life will roll out fairly for us and the spirits will favor us, if only temporarily.  Did you ever read your horoscope to see if your job interview would go well? Or if your visit to the casino will allow you to leave with your financial well-being improved?  Or maybe you need encouragement that your life will improve in whatever way is important to you.  

Are the fortune cookies or horoscopes offering up self-fulfilling prophecies?  Perhaps.  In fact, I’d say definitely in many cases.  I would say that because I’m an optimist and we idealists like to put a positive spin on everything.  If you are a pessimist, you could be in for an unhappy outcome often at your own expense.  

For instance, when you watch a movie or read a book and the plot unfolds, how many of you are already writing the ending halfway through the movie or book?  I always do that.  I love a happy ending.  I do not like the ending that leaves you wondering why you wasted hours of your day/evening watching or reading something that did not make you feel good.  Or left so much unresolved.  When that happens—and it happens too often in my opinion—I make up alternate endings to fulfill my need for that happy ending. Resolution in a satisfactory conclusion in the world according to my wishes and needs.  

Yes, we need encouragement as we go about our days.  Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to be inspired.  Maybe someone lets you out in traffic or smiles a silent greeting.  Those kinds of interactions go a long way with me.  Perhaps the person didn’t intentionally let me out in traffic but was looking at their phone and hesitated which resulted in my getting out.  And maybe the smile was because my appearance looked so ridiculous.  Maybe I forgot to fill out my eyebrows that morning and there was a jelly stain on my shirt.  It doesn’t really matter because being an optimist, I will look at such interactions as positive.  Which in turn is the incentive I need to be courteous to my fellow drivers or smile a greeting to a stranger.  

You’ve heard the expression “fake it ‘til you make it.”  Well, that’s what I choose to do many times in many circumstances.  And I can’t think of a single instance where the approach didn’t work for me.  But I could have missed the mark, but the optimist in me turned the frown upside down.  

When I read the fortune cookie fortune or my horoscope, I have developed the power of positive thinking to the point that I might decide to write fortune cookie fortunes.  And I promise they would all be cheerful and encouraging.  (Smile!)