I first came across this poem after listening to Dr Wayne Dyer read it at one of his seminars. I loved its message and thought I’d share it with you.
The Cookie Thief
A woman was waiting at the airport one night,
With several long hours before her flight.
She hunted for a book in the airport shop,
Bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.
She was engrossed in her book, but happened to see,
That the man beside her, as bold as could be,
Grabbed a cookie or two from the bag between,
Which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene
She read, munched cookies, and watched the clock,
As the gustily "cookie thief" diminished her stock
She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by,
Thinking, "If I wasn't so nice, I'd blacken his eye!"
With each cookie she took, he took one too.
When only one was left, she wondered what he'd 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, and he ate the other.
She snatched it from him and thought, "Oh brother,
This guy has some nerve, and he's also so 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 for the gate,
Refusing to look at the "thieving ingrate".
She boarded the plane and sank in her seat,
Then sought her book, which was almost complete.
As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise.
There were her bag of cookies in front of her eyes!
"If mine are here," she moaned with despair.
"Then 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 often are we quick to jump to conclusions when we don’t know all the facts? Do we ever know ALL the facts about a situation or a person with 100% certainty? Many times we don’t but we think we do.
How often are we quick to judge others when WE are the ones who also have faults? We can see so clearly the splinter in the other person’s eye when we have a log in our own. I know I’m like this. I’d like to think I’m a pretty decent, forgiving, non-judgemental person. But if I’m honest, I can be judgemental to those I feel are judgemental so really, am I any better?
You see, other people are our mirrors. We see in them what we like or don’t like in ourselves. If we dislike a particular trait or behaviour in another person, it’s a quality we don’t like in ourselves. Now you may say that’s not true because at this moment you may not see that particular "flaw" in yourself.
I know it used to drive me crazy because I felt a particular family member never listened to me. I thought this for years. One day I had the realization that I don’t listen to her! Wow! What a revelation! Now you may be the type of person who doesn’t judge others harshly, but are you extremely self critical? Does your ego demand that you be perfect?
Today, pay attention to your judgemental thoughts and attitudes. Be aware of how many times you jump to conclusions without knowing all the details. Watch how often you criticize others or focus on your own faults. Even though it may be tempting, don’t be a cookie thief...don’t let these negative thoughts steal your joy or your peace. Choose instead to feast on kindness towards yourself and others.