Do you remember when Chinese fortune cookies were like horoscopes? They would actually give predictions of things that might happen to you in the future.
For example, about a dozen years ago I got this fortune in a cookie.
Cool, huh? At first I was really excited. But then I got to thinking about the words “three months from this date.” What date is “this date” supposed to mean?
Is it the date I opened up the fortune cookie and read the fortune?
Is it the date the fortune was printed on the little slip of paper?
Is it the date the little slip of paper was inserted into the fortune cookie (by whatever magical means they use to do that)?
Depending upon the answers to those questions, three months from “this date” may have passed long ago. Maybe I missed the window of opportunity to realize the good things that were in store for me. And that just depressed me.
But I digress. My point is that the little slips of paper inside today’s fortune cookies seem to be filled with empty platitudes, trite little clichés, and “inspirational” sayings. And since the cookies themselves aren’t all that delicious, I usually end up throwing them out without opening them whenever we get Chinese takeout.
However, last night I went out and picked up some takeout from our local Chinese restaurant and I decided to indulge in a fortune cookie that was included with the food and when I read the “fortune” it said this:
I thought that was a rather philosophical “fortune” to find inside a cookie. But it just didn’t sound like something from far eastern philosophy, so I googled it. Turns out the quote was from the late Stanford University President David Starr Jordan back in 1903.
Who knew that Chinese fortune cookie “fortunes” were made in America?