The aroma of freshly baked homemade chocolate chip cookies creates the warm and cozy feeling in my mind that reminds me of happiness at home. Five years before I was diagnosed with a grain allergy I spent creating a chocolate chip cookie recipe that I hoped to impress the judges at the very popular Bake-Off® Contest from Pillsbury.com. Then life happened and I didn’t enter the contest.
Just because I became allergic to grain didn’t mean that I quit liking chocolate chip cookies. When I finally stopped crying and started cooking again after my diagnosis, my goal was to recreate my chocolate chip cookie recipe without using grain flour. By Thanksgiving 2014 I had created a cookie that taste and had the texture of a Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookie.
That was a good step forward toward my goal, but not where the chocolate chip cookie needs to be in order to make me happy. I’ve continued to bake cookies, sometimes they are yummy and sometimes they are tossed into the trash with a lesson learned and documented in my recipe files. Even when the batch of chocolate chip cookies appears to have reached my Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest goal, with the first bite of the cookie I realize that I still have more baking to do.
Judging the outward appearance of people and things often leads to incorrect assumptions.
To illustrate this concept, I will share a famous fable with you.
The Ant and the Chrysalis
A story by Aesop
An Ant nimbly running about in the sunshine in search of food came across a Chrysalis that was very near its time of change. The Chrysalis moved its tail, and thus attracted the attention of the Ant, who then saw for the first time that it was alive.
“Poor, pitiable animal!” cried the Ant disdainfully. “What a sad fate is yours! While I can run hither and thither, at my pleasure, and, if I wish, ascend the tallest tree, you lie imprisoned here in your shell, with power only to move a joint or two of your scaly tail.”
The Chrysalis heard all this, but did not try to make any reply. A few days after, when the Ant passed that way again, nothing but the shell remained. Wondering what had become of its contents, he felt himself suddenly shaded and fanned by the gorgeous wings of a beautiful Butterfly.
“Behold in me,” said the Butterfly, “your much-pitied friend! Boast now of your powers to run and climb as long as you can get me to listen.”
So saying, the Butterfly rose in the air, and, borne along and aloft on the summer breeze, was soon lost to the sight of the Ant forever.
The moral of the story…Appearances are deceptive.
There’s also another fable by Aesop that illustrates how appearances are often deceiving.
The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
A story by Aesop
A Wolf found great difficulty in getting at the sheep owing to the vigilance of the shepherd and his dogs. But one day it found the skin of a sheep that had been flayed and thrown aside, so it put it on over its own pelt and strolled down among the sheep. The Lamb that belonged to the sheep, whose skin the Wolf was wearing, began to follow the Wolf in the Sheep’s clothing; so, leading the Lamb a little apart, he soon made a meal off her, and for some time he succeeded in deceiving the sheep, and enjoying hearty meals.
Once again, the moral of the story…Appearances are deceptive.
Things Are Not Always What They Seem
The fables by Aesop of The Ant and the Chrysalis, The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, along with my numerous failures at baking a grain free chocolate chip cookie fit for a million dollar prize at the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest make it apparent to me that things are not always what they seem. This lesson, however, is not a new concept to me.
Everyday while fighting the symptoms of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), I was reminded that how I appeared on the outside to not only strangers, but also friends and family, was not how I was feeling on the inside where a continuous battle for my sanity was being waged.
“There are no greater wretches
in the world than many of those whom
people in general take to be happy.”
~ Seneca (4 BC-65) Roman philosopher and playwright ~
I know that strangers look at me and have no way of know that I’ve suffered many traumatic, heartwrenching experiences over the last six years. Just as most people turn their nose up at the idea of covering grapes with chocolate because they judge the sound of chocolate covered grapes in relation to the well known norm, people tend to judge each other the same way on appearances.
Aesop said one of the most profound statements about judging someone’s worth based on their appearance.
“Outside show is
a poor substitute for inner worth.”
~ Aesop (620 BC-560 BC) Greek fabulist ~
Yesterday I once again was baking homemade grain free chocolate chip cookies. The first two batches baked without a hitch while I watched a movie I had never seen named, “Pay It Forward” which was produced in 2000. It was such a marvelous movie and when I put the third batch of chocolate chip cookies in the oven, I forgot to set the timer before I dashed back into the living room to continue watching the movie.
Too many minutes later, I realized that I was smelling the chocolate chip cookies, but they were burning. Although they were really dark and obviously burned, they still appeared to be yummy. If you didn’t know that I had burned the cookie, at first glance the chocolate chip cookies appeared to be chocolate chocolate chip cookies or just very dark chocolate chip cookies, but they don’t really look like burned chocolate chip cookies.
After taking a bite, however, it is very obvious that the chocolate chip cookies are completely burned and taste horrible.
The chocolate chip cookies appearance is deceiving. Only when placed next to the properly baked chocolate chip cookies does it become apparent that the third batch of chocolate chip cookies are burned.
Initial judgements often prove to be completely wrong. Without taking the time to get the facts or take the time to get to know another person, too many misconceptions are taken as truth and ignorantly believed. When false judgements are flagrantly made, people are hurt, relationships ruined, and reputations destroyed.
Remember, what you think you see or know, may be totally incorrect. When you decide to lend a hand instead of point a finger, not only do you help someone who is fighting battles that you do not know about, but you improve yourself with your unselfish and non-judgmental assistance.
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