The 2016 American Presidential election was undoubtedly one of the more polarizing ones. There was a lot of identity politics being thrown around which always isolates groups of people from one another, and divisive rhetoric used in general. Then, when Donald Trump won the election, it seemed that America had become the most divided it has been in decades.
On the surface, things like race, gender, religion, political orientation, and culture were used against all of us. These things were made to seem like defining factors of who a person is, and that is so far from the case. These are surface aspects of people. None of these factors will tell you anything about the character of a person.
Rosalynd Harris got a pleasant reminder of this, and she wanted to share her story so hopefully people would remember that we are all people before we are anything else. Harris works at Busboys and Poets in Washington D.C, a local spot that the former POTUS Obama liked to go to.
Around Trump’s inauguration she got a table of Trump supporters who were in town from Texas to watch the inauguration. This local establishment is known for its liberal politics and it seemed like the last place this group of people would want to eat. Nevertheless, Harris gave the same good service to these patrons as she would to anyone.
Harris served them without a problem, and for all intents and purposes, all parties enjoyed the interaction. Then when the group left, they left Harris an amazingly generous tip and a very important message written on the receipt.
The anonymous patron wrote: “We come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our county will come together as one people.”
They left Harris with a $450.00 tip on a $72.60 bill. While touched by the tip, the message touched Harris much more deeply and was an important wake up call for her. She told The Washington Post after attending the Women’s March: “You automatically assume if someone supports Trump that they have ideas about you. But the customer was more embracing than even some of my more liberal friends, and there was a real authenticity in our exchange. This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing. It instills a lot of hope.” An important message always, but especially these days. Be kind to one another folks.