When a 10-year-old boy walked into a busy coffee shop and sat at a table, the waitress assigned to his section was annoyed. He was just a kid and obviously wasn’t going to spend very much money at the cafe. He was wasting her time.
But it was her job to serve paying customers, however little they ordered, so she approached the table and set a glass down before the small child’s face.
“Miss how much is an ice cream sundae?” he innocently asked. “Fifty cents,” she told him. “Oh,” he said and looked down then asked for the price of a regular ice cream.
By now, the waitress was growing impatient. There was a line building up at the door and she wanted to hurry up so she could seat the crowd of adults.
“A plain cup of ice cream is 35 cents,” she brusquely replied. The little boy ordered the regular ice cream and handed the waitress his menu with a smile.
A few minutes later the she came back with the ice cream, the bill, and walked away without a word.
The little boy quietly ate his ice cream, paid the cashier, and left.
When the waitress saw the table was empty, she was relieved the child hadn’t taken too much of her time and immediately walked over to clean it up and seat the next customers. But that’s when she saw something on the table that broke her heart.
It was a 15-cent tip. The little boy had given her all of the money he had.
She stood there puzzled and tongue-tied. He couldn’t afford an ice cream sundae because he had included her tip in his costs. He was thinking about her.
The waitress was filled with guilt. How could she have been so cold-hearted and selfish? Tears began rolling down her face as she thought about her conversation with the boy who had sacrificed his sundae to give her a tip when he didn’t have to.
If we can think about others before we think of ourselves, perhaps the world would be a better place.