I made cookies the other day because Melina was going to have a friend over to play. Thankfully, we still have a few cookies left. And as I am wont to do on a day when I woke up at 4 a.m. (thanks, cat!), I reached for one of them as an after-lunch snack. Those of you who know me well know that mundane acts can lead me to thinking and yesterday was no exception. And it all started with a cookie . . .
As I pulled a cookie from the refrigerator (the one that I didn’t really need to eat but felt like doing so), I thought about the plates of cookies that people give at holiday time. I’ve been known to give and receive a few of those plates, and usually, if we cannot eat all of the cookies we’re given, Tim or I will take them into work or we’ll share them with neighbors. I have known people who, for reasons unbeknownst to me, accept the cookies from someone, wave their goodbyes with smiles plastered to their faces, and then turn around and throw the morsels in the trash. I’ve never liked that scenario, mostly because it’s a waste of food. But yesterday, something else hit me.
I thought about the cookies as a gift, and how we should gratefully accept the gifts we are given, whether or not we really want that gift. Sure, people have been known to re-gift items. I’m okay with that, because you still end up spreading the love. But this whole throwing the gift away . . . Why do that? What purpose does it serve? And how does it impact us or other people?
And of course, once I started thinking about gifts that people have given, I thought about all the gifts that we, as people, possess. Would you throw the gifts you have away? I don’t mean the physical concrete gifts. I mean the gifts that you’re born with? I know friends and family members with the gifts of compassion, empathy, common sense, and more. If we wouldn’t throw away those gifts, then why do we think it is okay to throw away a plate of cookies?
I know. This might be a case of, “it’s all in the perspective.” But when I see a plate of cookies, I see more than butter and sugar and flour and flavorings. I see time and energy spent into finding a good recipe. And even more time an energy in concocting the cookies. I see toil and sweat (sometimes tears) and love. The love is what I see the most when I receive a gift of cookies. Maybe I’m a little off my rocker, or maybe you need to think a little harder about what someone is telling you the next time you receive a plate of cookies.
Either way, if you’re tempted to toss those cookies away, give me a call. I’ll come get them from you.