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Character

COINS ON THE TABLE

 

By Mo Anderson

 

In life, we cannot control the circumstances around us but, we can control our responses. Let me share a story I love that illustrates my point.

 

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less than it does today, a ten year old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat down at a table.

As a waitress put a glass of water on the table in front of him, the boy asked her,

“How much is an ice cream sundae?”

 

“Fifty cents”, replied the waitress.

 

The little boy pulled a handful of change out of his pocket and studied the coins in his palm. “Well, how much is a plain dish of ice cream?

 

By now, more customers were waiting to be seated at tables and the waitress was growing impatient. “Thirty-five cents,” she brusquely replied.

 

The little boy counted his coins again and announced, “I’ll have the plain ice cream.”

 

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table, which the little boy promptly paid with the change he had carefully counted.

 

The waitress went back to serving her customers, as the little boy finished his plain dish of ice cream. Once he left the table and exited the coffee shop, the waitress returned to wipe down the table where the little boy had been sitting.

 

She looked down and began to cry. There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels & five pennies. You see, he couldn’t have the sundae, because he needed to have enough left over for a tip.

 

As you move through the world each day, I have no doubt that most people you encounter are wonderful. Yet, some days, there will be a few who are irritable, unkind, unfair, or not well-behaved.

 

Ask yourself, are you like the little boy? When faced with another person’s bad behavior, do you choose your response? How often do you take the high road and respond with love, kindness, and generosity?

 

Today, I challenge you to find an opportunity to “leave coins” on someone’s table.

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