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Chinese take-out fortune cookie says: Live and help live.

May 7, 2012

There’s an unwritten rule, or so I’ve heard since I was a kid, that Long Islanders are supposed to eat Chinese food on Sunday nights. Maybe it’s just in my neck of the woods (I live in New York’s Nassau County, South Shore region), but it sure does happen a lot in my household. The fortune cookie is a must at the end of the meal. Even if the cookie isn’t eaten, the fortune must be read. The “fortune,” by the way, is the slip of paper that is inside the cookie. One side sometimes has a series of lucky numbers that, if I’m not mistaken, are suggested numbers that will make you rich if you play your local state lottery. Or, there is sometimes a word and a definition. Frankly, I don’t pay much attention to that side of the fortune. The important stuff (that is, the important side of the paper slip) is the saying, usually a sentence or two, and usually understandable even if the grammar is a bit off, that offers advice or a prediction. Reading the fortune is a ritual for my family. The fortune is sometimes wacky, without meaning, making no sense at all (to me and my family; for other readers, who knows?). Usually, however, it resonates. My guess is that fortune cookie “fortunes” follow the same formula used for  horoscopes (which I do not read), offering generalities that most readers are able to relate to their own lives and circumstances. Yet, it sometimes seems that the fortune is custom designed; what it says can seem to really relate to something specific that has or is happening in your own life; or, maybe, something that you’ve been thinking of or hoping for. As I said, it absolutely resonates. All of which is my intro to my fortune contained in last night’s fortune cookie: “Not just live and let live … but live and HELP live.” Wow (said my inner voice), what are the odds of getting that fortune? I had just attended a 4-day conference with over a hundred trial lawyers from around the country, and we are re-energizing a nationwide program to end distracted driving ( Trial lawyers often lead the battle for public safety, and this program (in my humble opinion) will truly save lives. More to follow. In the meantime, heed the fortune: “Not just live and let live … but live and HELP live.”   Image


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