Debunking Fortune Cookies: The Pessimistic Fortune Interpretation

I’ve been picking up the fortune cookie quotes that come in from the front of the restaurant where I work as a dishwasher.

It is one of the things that makes work worth it. I get to steal people’s fortunes and do what I wish with them. Like put voodoo curses on them or burn them in a witch fire.

However, fortune cookies no longer tell fortunes, they just provide vague proverbs that make the burdens of capitalism somewhat bearable for the average person.

I offer here my own pessimistic interpretation of these so called “fortunes”.

“Make two grins grow where there was only a grouch before.”

Basically surgically add a second mouth to your face and have double the happy when you smile. Being a true freak of nature is better than choosing to be a grouch.

“Do not let ambitions overshadow small success.”

Do not have big dreams because they will fail. If the car keys are in the right spot, rejoice, because that’s all there is to celebrate.

“In order to discover who you are, first learn who everybody else is. You’re what’s left.”

You are a selfish bastard who only cares about your own interests. Stop, because that means you’re a dick.

“Get your goals high and you will always move forward.”

If your goals are set above you, and you move forward in a straight line below your goals, you believe you are getting somewhere when actually you really need a ladder when you approach the point in life where you set your goals. If you move past the point where you set your goals, you are moving farther away from them.

The visual aid to the right might help in understanding the truth in this proverb.

The A – B line is the direction the proverb tells you to go. From A to B. The M point is the goal you set. So while you always move forward you never move up. You actually move past your goal post and start moving farther away!

“He who seeks will find.”

You can make anything meaningful if you try hard enough but it can go negatively or positively.

“Judge each day not by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”

You will plant more seeds than what will grow because most seeds will die. It’s like when Emerson speaks about the tree putting out thousands of seeds and only one of them growing into a tree. Most endeavors will fail, so best to think about all the endeavors as opposed to how to achieve their results. So stop trying to achieve, because again, you will fail.

“Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become.”

Hold onto hope, because it is the only thing a person has.

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