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half enough

Boars and fortune cookies

2007 marks another year of the boar since its last turn of the animal wheel twelve years ago. I am a proud 1983 boar. Friends and family say it’s no coincidence since I am generally stubborn. And since it’s that time of year in Western society, I thought I’d share some of my new year’s goals inspired by some fortunes in my cookies and my boar-ish personality.

My first fortune of the new year said, “Keep your feet on the ground even though your friends flatter you.” My lucky numbers were 4, 14, 29, 31, 46 and 1. The fortune sounded more like a commandment, a rule I’d rather not follow. Keeping myself grounded is a good piece of wisdom I believe I should always remind myself of. The “even though your friends flatter you” part is what makes me tick. Such advice is something only my mother or friends at least ten years older than me tell me. Otherwise, if a person my age, friend or not, told me to keep my feet on the ground and not to be flattered, I’d get upset. Why should I listen to anyone my age tell me how to behave?

This is where my new year’s resolution comes in. I want to be less temperamental, less emotional over small things that don’t really matter. I want to be less like a stubborn boar and more like a graceful rabbit. According to Wikipedia’s description of people born in the year of the rabbit, they often make ideal diplomats or politicians. Diplomats and politicians need good communication skills, and must respect all people despite differences in beliefs and culture. Such people, to me, seem to have to have lots of patience and tolerance for people they might not necessarily like the company of, and be graceful about it. I wonder how many government elects are rabbits.

Character traits of the pig or boar include being honest, straightforward and modest. Though I don’t like calling myself a pig or boar, I consider myself a pretty grounded, honest and modest person. I admit that I like being flattered, but who doesn’t? I think enjoying flattery is a universal character trait.

While I concur with the boar’s stubborn personality, I feel reassured after reading an elaborate description of the boar’s character traits that it’s not all bad. Wikipedia says, “The Pig type is usually an honest, straightforward and patient person. He or she is a modest, shy character who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes. When others despair, he or she is often there to offer support. It is easy to put trust in pig type; he or she won't let you down and will never even attempt to do so.”

This is the kind of boar I want to be! One that is honest and patient, warm-hearted and understanding.

My second fortune cookie of the year had not one, but two fortunes inside. I couldn’t think of a superstition like the rare four-leafed clover that said two fortunes inside a fortune cookie are better than one, or that it’s a sign for something unpredictably amazing. So whether there is a significance behind having two fortunes instead of just one inside your fortune cookie, I’ll never know, but it sure felt special. The first of two fortunes said, “Good thoughts make life better.” Lucky numbers 1, 5, 6, 19, 35 and 15. The second said, “You are a dreamer, and your thinking is inspirational.” Lucky numbers 7, 21, 28, 30, 37 and 11. Both are positive and encouraging and allow me to apply them to my other main new year’s resolution: to be responsible, especially with my finances. Having good thoughts and maintaining inspirational thinking will definitely get me through financial irresponsibility.

So, my two main goals are to be less temperamental and more financially responsible. Who says fortune cookies and animal personalities on a Chinese calendar aren’t accurate ways of defining oneself or determining the future?

© 2007 Victoria Kraus

fortune cookie identity personality zodiac

About this series

"Half Enough" is Victoria's first regular column series. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Discover Nikkei.