Do you want a cookie?

Watch me paint these peach cookies with powdered sugar coating, from the book “50 Oil Paintings Inspired by Savannah, Georgia” (1 minute time lapse)

When we were children and someone asked us, “Do you want a cookie?” we’d probably have said yes without hesitation (unless it was a type of cookie we didn’t like, or we were allergic to the ingredients in it). But as adults, the simple yes or no decision about whether or not we want a cookie is more complicated. 

Beyond any allergies or dislike for the cookie, we might also consider the calories, any ingredients that don’t fit into our diet plan, who made the cookie and how fresh it is, if the conditions of the cookie look hygienic or if the cookie has been touched by many people before being offered, if the cookie has hard decorations that could hurt our teeth, if the cookie is sloppy and will be messy to eat, if the cookie comes with a paper napkin or plate, if the cookie has a political statement written on it, if the cookie is sold by an organization whose politics we don’t agree with, if the cookie is offered free or at a cost, if we are expected to eat a cookie right before singing or speaking in public, if accepting the cookie means that someone else can’t have one (not enough to go around), if not accepting the cookie will hurt someone’s feelings, and probably other considerations I didn’t think of.

Every decision we make as an adult is more complicated than our decision making process we had when we were children. And though it may be tempting to wish for those days back, the truth is that most of us prefer to be adults. For if we still made decisions in a childlike way, we’d be as vulnerable as children. Rash impulsive decisions based on immediate rewards sometimes leads to dire consequences that hurt ourselves and others. There’s a good reason for humans to grow up and learn to make mature, fully thought out decisions.

But every now and then… if offered a cookie (assuming that a single cookie won’t ruin your fitness plan), why not just say “YES, please!” and enjoy every sweet morsel of it? Life is complicated, so it’s a happy thing when we take a break from the seriousness of this world. Sometimes a pretty little cookie really is just a pretty little cookie that tastes delicious and gives us a few minutes of joy. And we can say “YES, I want a cookie!”

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