The Worldwide Cookie Monster Club

by Jim Gleason, heart transplant recipient, Oct. 19, 1994
(with updates added February 1998)

Member Characteristics

("How to recognize a Cookie Monster when you see one!")

What is a "Cookie Monster?"

Cookie Monsters are those of us who start out each day looking for, and expecting to find, the "free cookies" that are available in life each and every day all around us. We have only to be open to them and "they will come."

The concept is based on the story about the father who left a note on the family kitchen table one morning: "Something very special is going to happen to you today!" Each family member came down and read the note as they left to face their day - each thinking the note was meant for them. That night over supper each family member excitedly shared the "something special" that had happened to them that day - each surprised that dad knew it was going to happen! Only when all shared the same story did they come to realize the note wasn't meant just for them - it was a rule that works for everyone. If you go out looking for the good in your day - the good in people you meet - you will find your own "something special" and will overlook and bounce off those negative things that happen to everyone every day since you are too busy focusing on the good things. A simple but effective way of enjoying life more - and making life more enjoyable for others too!

What are "free cookies?"

Free cookies are those little and big things that happen to each and every one of us daily that the average person calls "good luck." In some cases it is exactly what the name implies - somebody offers you a real, honest to goodness cookie that you can put into your mouth and eat! Most of the time a "free cookie" takes on the form of a good deed (a driver gestures you to pull in front of them, a helping hand at work), a gift of self (a smile, an unsolicited "Hello" or "Hi!", a loving hug), while other times it can be a really big pleasant surprise (winning the lottery, a gift arrives in the mail, somebody sends you a bouquet of flowers - "just because!"). These things happen to all of us every day - but most people are too mired down in the negatives and miss them. Cookie Monsters are constantly on the alert, savoring and sharing each and every "free cookie" of the day.

Motto of the WW Cookie Monster Club:

"Changing the world, one smile at a time..."

Finding other CM's really very easy. CM's tend to naturally gravitate to each other - even if they have never met before. Two CM's at any gathering (no matter how small or large the crowd) will always find each other - it's a law of nature. When you come in contact with a CM (or even pass close by...), you (and any stranger for that matter) find yourself automatically saying "Hi!" to them. If they are in a group of other people you may find yourself not saying hello to others in the same crowd - the others in the crowd will later ask the CM how they know you, only to find the CM replying: "I never met that person before now - but wasn't that nice of them to say "Hi!" like that?" Friends of a CM are always mystified that this happens a lot - unless, of course, the friend happens to be a CM themselves - they understand and don't even ask the question - but then you probably said "Hi!" to the 2nd CM too, right?

Some famous Cookie Monsters:

Leo Buscaglia
Pope John Paul
John Kennedy
Mother Theresa
Richard Simmons
Anthony Robbins

How do you know a "Cookie Monster" when you see one?

Cookie Monsters (i.e., CM's) can easily be recognized by their spirited attitude, words and actions. Look for the following signs...

CM's use words like...

"Hi!", "Thanks!!", "Wow!!!", "That's great!", "beautiful..."

- always spoken with enthusiasm!!! (They also use "!'s" a lot)

CM's tend to smile a lot, even when its raining ("makes the grass green and the flowers bloom...")

CM's look to give to others all the time - they tend to be outgoing and sharing - they are people you feel like talking to out of a crowd (...even when they're strangers to you, because they're not really strangers to anybody, they're just friends you haven't met yet)

CM's don't just laugh - they "bubble" with a joy of life (not easy to define, but you'll know it when you see it) that they just have to share with others (others being anyone within reach)

CM's take the time to "smell the roses..." in life, even when they are very busy (which they almost always are...)

CM's reading this will automatically recognize themselves as being one - and will freely admit it. Non-CM's will not.

When CM's get up in the morning (usually early...) they look down and note that they are "above ground" and count that as their "first blessing" of that day and can be overheard saying:

"Hot damn! - another day! OK Life, give me your best shot!!!"

How you can become a member of the "Cookie Monsters" club

The CM Club is not an exclusive club, but rather an "inclusive club" that welcomes everyone. Anyone who exhibits the above characteristics can be welcomed into the Cookie Monster's Club by any existing member at any time. The only real criteria is that they want to share this special spirit with others - but then all CM's want to do that. A CM will automatically accept the invitation - they are not suspicious of other people, especially one they recognize as a fellow CM - even though they never heard of the Cookie Monster Club before. CM's always look for and expect the best in other people - and they seldom are let down in that quest.

Age requirements...

Cookie Monsters come in all ages - and are not aware of their chronological years on this earth normally referred to as "age" - they only count their mental age. CM's age contrary to the laws of nature - they get younger with each passing year. the joy they find and share with others seems to be the root of this unusual phenomenon.

Are you a Cookie Monster?


Welcome to the club!!!

The WW Cookie Monster Club

c/o Jim Gleason, President and Founder

Postscript: Since publishing this original article back in 1995, there have been many who have written to share their own CM stories and express support for this fun concept. Just recently there have been two new terms added to the vocabulary of the club. "Cookie crumbs..." - wow, what a great addition to my Cookie Monster concept. Along with "free cookies" (those unexpected nice things that happen in everyone's life every day). What do you think? Are "cookie crumbs" the little deeds we cookie monsters do for everyone in our lives every day? The remains the cookie monster leaves behind them...? I love the idea. Thanks Jen.

I immediately shared this new concept with my "converted cookie monster", the not so old philosopher, editor of the Gleason Gazette (yes, after 12 years we are still publishing the family newsletter, often 50 pages long, every quarter). Bill countered with his own new contribution. What to call people who are still Cookie Monsters in the making? How about "cookie dough" - I loved that too! Yes, even if you aren't a cookie monster naturally, Bill is proof that you can still become one. And out of such "cookie dough" (people developing that attitude of expecting the best in each day and person they encounter) future CM's are made.

So, go ahead and leave those crumbs around. Maybe some "cookie dough" will follow your example and become a CM, just like YOU!

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