Yesterday, we passed out fortune cookies to conclude snack time before delving into pictures and videos of Indian and Chinese culture. I cracked open the thin shell of my one of the extra cookies to reveal the coveted slip of paper hidden within. No matter where I am, those simple little cookies always transform me back into a joy-filled, naïve child, patiently awaiting my gift on Christmas morning. I carefully split the wafer’s sweet framework, slowly unwrapping the shred of paper as if determinedly building the anticipation for just a few extra moments would somehow reward me with a better fortune.
I rolled over the parcel in my fingers and read, “You will receive some high prize or award soon.”
“Solid,” I thought, unexpectedly impressed with my results. Having only briefly glossed over the letters, I focused my attention on the sugary, short-term satisfaction of crunching the cookie between my teeth. I promptly glanced back at the white slip nestled in the crease of my palm, this time letting the words marinate in my mind for a moment. I tried to think of a high prize or award that would satiate my selfish desires… and I blanked. It was in this instant that I realized how truly blessed I am.
My life at home hasn’t always been perfect, but I have friends and family who care about me, and who I truly love with all my heart. I couldn’t ask for a better collection of people to share my life with. As the son of a literacy professor, my educational opportunities have been ubiquitous from the beginning, a blessing that I’m only now starting to fully recognize. I don’t have to burden my family with the cost of college, and I have a rewarding job at school. I’ve had the opportunity to enhance my perspective through travel and experience. I never have to worry about feeding myself. In fact, I’m blessed to be able to vote with my wallet, having the choice to eat healthy, sustainable and ethically produced foods.
I hope this post doesn’t come off as boastful or arrogant, for that’s definitely not how I intended these words to strike. I’m just unbelievably thankful, and I wish I did a better job of expressing that in my everyday life.
I’ll update this blog again soon with details about the youth program, for this week was a pivotal one. But for now, those are the thoughts whirling around in my head on this lovely, sun-soaked morning in Mississippi.