Sometimes it’s the little tiny news stories that catch our eye. We’re apparently always going to have stories about hate and ill will, like the ongoing controversy about taking down all of those Confederate statues; about how people express their ongoing dissatisfaction with politicians, especially our president — who wasn’t even a politician in the first place — and with politics, the left views vs.the views on the right; with ignorance and outright cruel and mean-spirited news reporting that does nothing but further foment divisiveness against each other and any groups that have differing thoughts or goals.
As I write this, our president is giving his speech in Phoenix, Ariz. He sure has a good speech writer, or maybe he did a little quiet meditation prior to getting up on that stage to speak and was filled with inspiration. He used a lot of the right words and used them in the right order. And I’m not even a Trump fan. But I do appreciate a good speech, having written several myself over the years. But back to the subject of my column for this week.
Here is the story that caught my attention, in a bit of a large nutshell: Rosalynd Harris, 25, is a waitress who works at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C., a restaurant named after African-American jazz poet Langston Hughes (who was actually a former busboy himself). It is open to everyone, but has a strong sense of local community with the presence of art, culture, and political conversations. It is just about as liberal as you can get, making it the last place you’d expect to see a conservative cowboy or three from the southern midwest. Yet three guys walked into the restaurant on January 23, 2017 wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats and were seated in Rosalynd Harris’ section, right under the massive wall paintings depicting American icons and leaders like Obama, Rosa Parks, and Harriet Tubman.
The group of three friends had flown into the capital from their homes in Texas to attend President Donald Trump’s inauguration. Jason White, 37, was one of them. While visiting, they stopped at many of the well-known landmarks and destinations such as Arlington Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It probably seemed odd to Rosalynd to see Trump fans (based on their Trump-supporting hats) in such a place, especially since she herself had just recently attended the local Women’s March protest aimed at Donald Trump, due to statements that he had made which many regarded as offensive to women, and was the largest single-day protest in U.S. history.
White chose to pay the bill — which came to $72.60 for the three of them — paying with a credit card. He wrote a note on the receipt, commenting on her kindness and beautiful smile while serving them, taking into account that he and his friends were obvious Trump supporters and the establishment was obviously anti-Trump. He added other words indicating that our country would be a better place, a more united place, if we could all treat each other with the same attitude she (his waitress) had, which, from her standpoint, was to treat all her customers the same way. For her perceived kindness, he felt moved to leave her a tip of $450.
Yes, the restaurant and others who knew about this posted her good fortune all over the Internet, Facebook, etc. That tip was perhaps more meaningful to her than it might have been to other waitresses for various reasons, but many who read the story didn’t quite grasp the meaning behind it. Some saw it as simply a little story about a big tip.
Here are just a few comments following the story online:
Front Range Community College
Did you guys even comprehend this story? It absolutely had nothing to do about tips! Some times I really worry about the future of the human race.
WHAAT! I don’t know what you were reading. Apparently you are the one without the understanding of the subject matter.Rich Golden
Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania
It is an awesome story!! I am of the opinion tho that the politicians do not want a united America because if that is the case all them crooked liars are out the door as people realize it is DC that is wrong with this country. They just dont get it, and as far as Dems go, they seem to me to be the violent, racist garbage they preach against and they are absolutely the most immoral, hypocritical people that usually spew venom instead anything good
Senior Anvironmental Analyst at SWCA Environmental Consultants
Rich Golden as an independent, you don’t see that you just did that? Spewed venom? No one group, regardless of how you define them are all bad people. generally whatever you can say about one group you can say about all. there are all types represented in all groups, both fortunately and unfortunately.
I think that is a beautiful Story and there’s a lesson to be learned from it thank you for sharing this is what the country needs we need more of that kindness and acceptance towards one another and maybe if we do that we can make a change. Yes, it is a little story about a big tip, but it is far more than that. It is about a woman, a waitress, who is, unfortunately, not the usual kind of Democrat, not the usual kind of anti Trump protester. She is far more — and even less — than that. She is a woman who knows how to be a human being, a kind, warm, friendly and nonjudgmental human being, not a Democrat, nor a protester, nor an activist. She is ordinary and above ordinary. She is — and should be — an example of what we would call our “neighbor.” Would that we could all look past our personal feelings and beliefs and just be kind and friendly to each other, like good neighbors or strangers who don’t know each other’s personal prejudices or misbegotten beliefs and wouldn’t be cruel to each other even if we did know. Some people would say we could all just be Americans, each with our own thoughts and beliefs, but all one in our unity. Some others would say we could all just be human, and do unto others as we would have others do unto us.
Rosalynd Harris: an ordinary waitress; an ordinary human being. Thank you for showing us how ordinary human beings can be. Let us all go and do likewise.