After my father died, my siblings and I often looked contemptuously on people's efforts to "help" us by bringing us a plate of cookies. We had real needs, none of which were addressed by a plate of cookies.

Cookies seemed to be everyone's answer to offering service or assistance to someone in need, or at least the appearance of doing so. We realized the intent was good even though the action fell far short.

I continued in this opinion until I was a single, professional woman, living on my own. Why the change? Simple. It was a change of circumstances. I didn't have time to make cookies. If I did have time, I didn't want to eat an entire batch myself. It would make me sick to my stomach. Even the smallest batch seemed way too much.

I truly appreciated someone giving me a plate of 2-4 cookies. It was the right amount for me in my circumstances and the right amount total.

I considered it a real treat. What a difference a few years, and a few circumstances, can make.

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