Life is busy, and we’re all so caught up with our own stresses and challenges that it’s easy to get frustrated at the people we encounter.
For me, the worst part of my day is my commute. Public transport is always packed, often late and I find myself getting extremely annoyed with people who walk too slowly, get in my way or – even worse – people who shove into me and try to jump queues when people are waiting to get on the bus.
But if we slowed down and tried to see things from other peoples’ perspectives, we would soon learn that not everyone is trying to annoy us… in fact, there are some kind-hearted strangers who are thinking about us when we think they’re simply holding us up.
That’s what the waitress in this story learned when a little boy came into her restaurant to buy some ice cream.
A waitress was busy serving tables during the lunch time rush when a 10 year old boy came into the restaurant and was seated in her section.
The waitress was immediately annoyed. She knew that the kid wasn’t going to spend much money at the cafe. He was wasting her time.
But it was her job to serve paying customers, so she walked up to the little boy and placed a menu in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae, miss,” the little boy asked innocently.
“50 cents,” she told him.
“Oh” he said, and looked down at his lap.
“How much is a regular ice cream?” he asked instead.
By this point the waitress was losing patience. She could see the line of adult customers out the door and she wanted to get on with seating customers who would pay more.
“A plain cup of ice cream is 35 cents,” she told the boy briskly. The little boy smiled and ordered the ice cream, and the waitress walked away.
A few minutes later she came back with the ice cream and the bill, put them down in front of the boy and left without saying a word.
The boy quietly ate his ice cream, paid the bill and left the restaurant.
When the waitress saw that the boy had left, she was relived that he hadn’t taken up too much of her time. She walked up to clean the table. But then she saw something waiting there on the table. When she got closer, it broke her heart.
The waitress was speechless. The little boy had only had 50 cents, and had chosen the cheaper ice cream because he included the price of her tip in the cost. He had been thinking about her.
The waitress was filled with shame. How could she have been so cold-hearted towards the boy? He had sacrificed his ice cream sundae to give her a tip.
If we could all just give a little more thought to each other, I know the world would be a much better place. Share this story if you agree.