Happy almost Friday! We’re getting there. Yesterday I was at work (I’m a receptionist for a Chiropractor) and I ordered a salad from a local pizza place. The guy came in and was really friendly and pleasant, and to my surprise didn’t act like he hated his life or his job (what is it with the pizza guys around here that act like that??). I appreciated that. He reassured me everything was in my bag and then explained their new receipt to me, I happily signed and tipped him 50%, and he went on his way. This seems like an off topic thing, but I’m getting at a point to stick with me!
We have all been to a restaurant during the busy time and had trouble with the food, or the wait, etc. Once I went to a Red Lobster with a friend, not realizing it was Valentine’s Day. It was packed, and we were put it the farthest booth in the farthest corner as everything else was full. We were seriously anticipating this meal for a few days now…I love me some lobster and snow crab! It was one thing after another, our poor waitress was newer and overwhelmed. They put the wrong sides on our plates. She forgot extra napkins, our drinks were empty, and the 5 tables next to us were all impatiently demanding things too. Then, yuck, I’m wincing thinking of it, I pulled a long hair out of the red skin potatoes. It was wrapped around one of them, so the potato dangled as I tried to pull it out. Are you gagging with me? Sorry!
Long story short, this poor girl had had a night. They immediately sent over a manager who took 1/2 off our bill and added another 1/2lb of crab legs to our meal. Which we thought was quite generous. Our bill that would have totaled almost $70 came out to be closer to $25. We were surprised, they really knocked the prices down. We didn’t have to, but we left that $70 on the table in cash anyway and left, smiling at the poor, flustered waitress who had jumped over and through hoops to serve us on our way out.
Why did I tell you these little stories? Well it is not to glorify myself, let’s get that straight first. I am not the kind of person who gives and then boasts about it, I’m just using these two instances to illustrate my point, which is that generosity hurts no one, especially ourselves. Being generous doesn’t mean you have to give people your money, or tip your waiter 50%. It could be donating all of your kid’s nicer outgrown clothes to a single mom you met at work, or to a local baby pantry instead of selling them online or at a second hand shop. It could be offering a ride to someone walking in the rain, or offering to babysit for a friend who hasn’t had a night out for months. There are infinite ways to be generous.
You can even be generous with compliments. Once I was in Walmart with Matthew and we walked by this girl who was a little heavy, but really put a lot of effort into her makeup, outfit, and hair. She was beautiful, she just didn’t have a smile on her face. I walked past her but then felt that still, small voice in my head telling me to go back. I looked at Matthew, and he knew, so I ran back to her and said, “hey, I think you’re beautiful, your makeup is great and you look really put together!” She gave me the biggest smile and thanked me in her total surprise. It cost me nothing but a second of my time.
I had a pastor whom I still regard as the most intelligent person I know (Biblically and book/street -wise) who used to tell everyone in our congregation that he always, always tipped well above 15%. He had the means, so he did it. Not only that, but the wait staff would fight over his table when he came in, ensuring he had the best service! We don’t give to receive, but to show gratitude and to encourage each other. Doesn’t it feel awesome when you’re in the drive through with a bunch of starving kids in the back seat (hollering in agony over their protruding ribs and absolutely EMPTY stomachs) and you pull up to the window to pay, after fumbling around for a pacifier and your wallet, and the cashier says, “No charge, the vehicle in front of you got it for you” ? We love stories of people paying it forward. it feels good to give, even if you have very little.
I encourage you to show others around you, even strangers, that there is good in the world, and that someone recognizes their effort in whatever way they show it. Just like my pastor, you will likely see that generosity come back to you. It costs us nothing at all to be gracious, grateful, and generous to one another.
I challenge you to do one generous thing every day this week!! Let me know what you did in the comments 🙂
Thanks friends, I’m grateful for you all!