Is a Fortune Cookie With No Fortune Bad? Not Necessarily

A few days ago, I indulged in some Chinese takeout, as part of my Saturday night takeout “cheat meal”. One of my favourite parts about having Chinese food is eagerly anticipating my fortune cookie at the end of the meal. Imagine my surprise when I cracked open the delicate golden cookie to find… nothing. No little slip of paper, no cryptic wisdom, no lucky numbers—just an empty shell. I have never seen this before – all my fortune cookies had a fortune. I was genuinely sad about it. Was this a bad omen? A sign of misfortune?

I had to see what this meant. A quick search revealed something fascinating. Apparently, finding an empty fortune cookie isn’t a bad thing at all. In some cultures, receiving a cookie without a fortune is considered a sign of good luck. It’s seen as an invitation from the universe to write your own destiny, a symbol of limitless potential and boundless possibilities. The blank slate signifies that the future is unwritten, and you hold the pen. Another belief is that if you do not receive a fortune in your cookie, you are owed a fortune in the future which means a positive event will come soon. The first belief is a reminder that while guidance and hints from external sources can be comforting, the most empowering fortune is the one we create for ourselves.

In life, we often search for signs, for reassurances that we’re on the right path. But sometimes, when fate hands us a blank slate, it’s not an act of negligence but an opportunity. It’s a gentle nudge to trust in our own journey, to script our adventures, dreams, and hopes. I did exactly that by eating the cookie nonetheless, under my own will.

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