Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Cookie Thief

Sharing one of my favorite poem and its analysis at the end -

The Cookie Thief
by Valerie Cox

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 apologize, she realized with grief,
That she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.
How many times in our lives,
have we absolutely known
that something was a certain way,
only to discover later that
what we believed to be true … was not?

1. Do we make too many assumptions? Have you ever been absolutely convinced of something and then found out later that you were mistaken? In the book The Four Agreements the author says that mistaken assumptions are the source of much of the conflict we experience in our lives.

2. Do we give others the benefit of doubt – Most people actually have a good reason to do the things they do (and not because they are crazy, rude, jerk or stupid). Do we try to find out why people are behaving the way they do? Cut people some slack.

3. Do we introspect? I have seen many cookie thieves tagging others as cookie thieves, without having a slightest idea of their own selves, that is the worst part, we sure need to introspect.


Nitin Ware said...

Your blog posts have always been a breeze of fresh air, never got bored of reading them, please keep posting them.

Rasika Mahabal said...

Thanks so much Nitin, that motivates me to write more ;-)

Evan Saxton said...

I can't help but think from the perspective of the "cookie thief" and the thoughts he was having during this incident. Was he angered as she was, keeping it bottled up at the same time? Or was he amused, selflessly encouraging her selfish indulgence? Finally, the humbled, generous offer, perhaps not as a test of her gall, but rather an acknowledgement that they came this far sharing, they should conclude by sharing.

And then finally, once on the plane, her embarrassed realization that she had been wrong all along. What a moment, lost by self-righteousness and frustration, punctuated by embarrassment and shame. Instead, by entering the cookie exchange by willfully sharing and by embracing the moment, she might have spared herself minutes, or perhaps weeks, of negative feelings.

And like Nitin, I love your blog! Your writing is great!