There’s a great little book called “The Cookie Thief” by Kirk Weisler, and his story hits a little too close to home for me. I say that jokingly, of course I am not a cookie thief… or am I? Kirk’s book is called “A semi sweet tale about a crime we too often commit”.
The story goes a little something like this:
A businessman buys a box of cookies at the airport and sits next to a man as he waits for his flight. Suddenly he notices the man eating HIS cookies. He slides his cookies away from the man and grabs one to eat himself. But this doesn’t deter the Cookie Thief, he grabs another cookie! They alternate back and forth until there is one cookie left. They look at each other, then the Cookie Thief reaches down and breaks the cookie in half, giving the businessman the larger half. The Cookie Thief then gathered his bags, smiled, and then walked away.
This left the businessman frustrated and angry, how could the Cookie Thief have done this, eating what was clearly not his. And then to split the last cookie in half and smile and walk away! Suddenly the flight was called and the businessman turned to gather his bags and find his box of cookies sitting safely sealed on his suitcase!
I’ll be the first to admit that there have been times in my life and my business where I’ve been the REAL Cookie Thief! No, I’ve never stolen cookies, except for the freshly baked ones my wife has made! But, I have done exactly as the businessman has done and jumped to conclusions or assigned blame without knowing all of the facts.
Kirk finishes the book eloquently with this great rhyme:
“How any cookie crumbles – is really up to you & me
If a choice alone can lock us up – then it can also set us free
We can choose to rush to judgment – we can choose to scream and shout
Or we can choose to give a greater gift – The Benefit of the Doubt!”