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Most of us take a few moments to decide whether to tip 15 or 20 percent when we receive the bill at a restaurant. But one group of customers at Busboys & Poets in Washington D.C. scrapped those usual numbers and, instead, aimed much, much higher.
Waitress Rosalynd Harris, who is black, found herself waiting on a table of white Texan men wearing cowboy hats. Just a few days earlier, Rosalynd had participated in the Women’s March; the men were in town for Donald Trump’s inauguration.
Seeing as they were coming from very different perspectives during such a contentious political season, their interactions could have been uncomfortable, to say the least. However, everything turned out to be quite the opposite.
After the men left, Rosalynd was shocked to see the numbers on the receipt: a $450 tip for a “subtotal” of $72.60. Along with this amazing tip, came a note.
The handwritten note read: “We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American. God Bless!”
“You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you,” Rosalyn shared. “But (these men are) more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange. This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing. It instills a lot of hope.”
Busboys and Poets is a socially progressive restaurant and artist’s lounge, designed to help “inspire social change and begin to transform our community and the world,” as written on their Facebook page. What their cowboy customers did for one of their waitresses is in keeping with this restaurant’s goal to foster harmony in our society.
“We all have the American spirit,” said Jason White, the man who left the tip, “And it’s really our duty to make America great ourselves—not one person. And that’s by respecting and loving one another, no matter how much we disagree with them.”
Rosalynd, a professional dancer, needs to move to a new apartment soon, and was worried about being able to afford the initial fees. She shared that the tip is “a huge weight off my shoulders.
The act of kindness has become an inspiration to many Americans, as well as a source of hope. When it seems like the world is too short on charity and generosity, we can find some comfort by remembering this story instead.