I love Oreo cookies. There’s a Zen-like simplicity to them that makes them delicious.
Whenever I eat one I think about the 76th verse of the Tao Te Ching:
The living are soft and supple, the dead are rigid and stiff.
In life, plants are flexible and tender, in death, they are brittle and dry.
Stiffness is thus the companion of death, flexibility a companion of life.
An Army that cannot yield will be defeated
A tree than cannot bend will crack under the weight of the snow.
The hard and the stiff will be broken
The soft and supple will prevail.
The Yin of the soft, white cream filling juxtaposed to the Yang of the hard, black cookie. It’s like all my favorite philosophies combined into a savory treat. Have you ever looked at the design baked into the outside of the cookie? It’s beautiful! How do they do that?
There is almost no anguish that cannot be eased with a few Oreos and a class of cold milk. Wouldn’t it be great if we could bomb our “enemies” with cookies and milk instead of explosive and chemicals?
As great as Oreos are, I also think they represent a lot that is wrong in our society, and I will tell you why.
I am a bit of a self-appointed Oreo snob. I like the original Oreo. I think it is one of the few examples of a higher power to be found in the snack isle. It’s perfect in every way. They are simple, yet elegant, and they probably bring more joy than they know about.
Just like you.
Yet for some reason, the Oreo cookie doesn’t think it’s good enough as it is, so it constantly tries to redefine itself.
Just like you.
Think of how many variations of itself Oreo offers to the world. Double stuffed, peanut butter, fudge covered, Halloween orange, Springtime blue, vanilla, vanilla with chocolate filling, strawberry, mint (which is just wrong, mint and chocolate do not belong together and I don’t care how many people tell me otherwise), triple stuff, Chocolate with chocolate filling, cookie dough, birthday cake, candy cane, watermelon, banana split, heads or tails (where one cookie is chocolate and the other vanilla), lemon, the triple stacker varieties, candy corn, coconut, Christmas red and many others.
There was probably even a ham and cheese Oreo offered at one time or another.
How many variations of yourself do you offer the world?
It can be strongly argued that none of these varieties are an improvement upon the original, and more than a few of them border on the ridiculous.
You are the original Oreo cookie.
You are delicious…as is.
You are the most popular cookie in someone’s world.
At this very moment, someone wants to gobble you up. Nom nom nom.
Embrace your cream-filled silliness.
You are not perfect, but you are perfect as you are.
People might try to split you apart, or break you in half, but you are best when eaten whole.
You can be hard and you can be soft, crunchy and chewy, yet scrumptious either way.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t try to grow and improve yourself, but don’t do it at the cost of changing the essence of who you are. If you must change, I suggest that the first thing you try to change is the belief that you need to be something different than the luscious morsel you already are. A watermelon, vanilla Oreo with Blue Tooth capability and a camera is not an Oreo no matter what the packaging says.
There will never be a point in your life where by simply changing the color or flavor of your filling, things will drastically change for you.
Start where you already are, work with what you already have, be original and be delicious.
You are perfection in process.
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Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Rob Boudon/Flickr