Years ago, a 10-year-old boy approached the counter of a soda shop and climbed up on the stool. The boy asked the server, “What does a piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream cost?”
“Fifty cents,” she answered.
The little boy reached deep into his pockets and pulled out several coins counting them carefully. The server grew impatient because she had “bigger” and “more important” customers to wait on.
“Well—how much would just one scoop of plain ice cream cost?” the boy asked.
Visibly irritated the server responded sharply, “Thirty-five cents!”
Again, the boy counted his coins. “May I have some plain ice cream in a dish then please?” He gave the server the correct amount of change, and she begrudgingly brought him the ice cream.
Later, after he’d left, the server returned to clear the boy’s dish. When she picked it up, she was stunned. There on the counter the boy had left two nickels and five pennies. Tears of shame filled the server’s eyes as she realized that all along he had enough money for the sundae, but sacrificed it so he could leave her a tip.
The moral: Before passing judgment, first treat others with courtesy, dignity, and respect.
Adapted from A Lifetime of Success by Pat Williams