When you turn on the evening news, every broadcast seems to bring more stories of tragedy, fighting, and petty politics. But if we take the time to a look a little closer, we often find that amidst the doom and gloom, people all around the world are constantly demonstrating courage, charity, and sacrifice. So, over the next few months, we’d like to share some inspirational stories we’ve come across that show how even a little bit of kindness can make a big difference. To us, these stories show that there are still a lot of reasons to have…
Hope in Humanity
Story #1: The Tip of a Lifetime
Kasey Simmons, a waiter in Little Elm, Texas, was having a very bad day. In fact, Kasey later described it as “the worst day of my career.”1 The restaurant was so busy, and the patrons so demanding, that he debated just walking away without looking back. But then, a woman entered.
Trying to be polite, Kasey told her that it would be about 45 minutes before he could take her order. But she didn’t want to order a meal. All she wanted was a drink.
“Flavored water,” she requested. It was the cheapest item on the menu – only 65 cents. As Kasey went to get it, he knew it was hardly worth a tip.
He couldn’t have been more wrong. The worst day of his career was about to become his best.
One day earlier
The day before the woman ordered flavored water, Kasey had helped someone else who was having a hard time. While standing in the checkout line at his local grocery store, Kasey noticed an elderly woman with a dejected look on her face. In fact, she looked as if she’d been crying.
Feeling bad, Kasey tried to start a conversation with her. The woman didn’t really respond. Undeterred, Kasey offered to lift her spirits by paying for her groceries. It was only $17 dollars, but as he later said, “It’s not about money. It’s about showing someone you care.”2
Suddenly grateful, the elderly woman asked for his name. Kasey gave her his business card, paid the bill, and left, thinking that was that. By the next day, it was probably out of his head entirely.
Until the woman in his restaurant ordered flavored water.
The tip of a lifetime
After Kasey brought it, the patron asked for a check so she could leave a tip. Kasey brought that too, then resumed his other responsibilities. When he returned sometime later, he found the woman was gone. In her place was a note written on a napkin.
“Kasey, on behalf of [my] family, I want to thank you for being the person you are. On one of the most depressing days of the year, (the 3-year anniversary of my father’s death) you made my mother’s day wonderful. She has been smiling since you did what you did. You insisted on paying. You told her she is a very beautiful woman. I have not seen her smile this much since Dad died. My mother did not need you to help her, but you made her year. Now accept yours!”1
Next to the napkin was the check. Kasey looked at the tip.
It was for $500. Sometimes, it’s nice to know that despite everything going on in the world, simply paying attention to the people around us can make all the difference in a stranger’s day.
Sometimes, it’s nice to know that simple human decency is alive, well, and as valuable as ever.
Sometimes, it’s nice to know that good deeds can be rewarded.
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1 “Waiter receives $500 tip after showing kindness toward grieving widow,” ABC News, August 23, 2016. https://abc7.com/society/waiter-receives-$500-tip-after-showing-kindness-toward-grieving-widow/1481366/
2 “Waiter tipped $500 for act of kindness,” CNN, August 19, 2016. https://www.cnn.com/2016/08/19/living/iyw-waiter-tippedbig-for-kindness/index.html