Most of us have heard the idiom “never judge a book by its cover,” but how many of us put this moral wisdom into practice? A waitress in Washington DC knows the weight of these words, especially so after meeting a group of cowboy-hat-wearing Trump supporters who had attended the president’s inauguration in January.
Rosalynd Harris, an African-American waitress at Busboys & Poets, met three men who had just attended the president’s inauguration. Harris could see that they were from out of town by the way they dressed. “I could tell they were from the south because they had their cowboy hats on and I was like, ‘Oh, you’re not from the city,’” Harris said to WUSA9.
Harris had just gotten back to work after the 2017 “Woman’s March on Washington,” which was publicized as a counter-inauguration protest, when she cheerfully greeted the group.
As she chatted with them, she learned that they were from West Texas, and she assumed they were visiting to support Trump. The men confirmed they had come to attend Trump’s inauguration.
After the men left, Harris was surprised to see a handwritten message on the check while clearing the table.
The note reads: “We may come from different cultures and may disagree on certain issues, but if everyone would share their smile and kindness like your beautiful smile, our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American God Bless!”
The men had left $522.60 for their $72.60 bill—including a 625 percent tip for Harris.
It was an unexpected surprise for Harris. “We may have different opinions and disagree on different issues, but the fact that he still looked at me as an equal and someone of value, it said something, like OK, not all hope is lost,” Harris said.
This incident has taught Harris something. “Never judge a book by its cover and always be open with people to experience something miraculous like that,” she said.
“This definitely reshaped my perspective. Republican, Democrat, liberal are all subcategories to what we are experiencing. It instills a lot of hope.”
Harris further added: “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.”
According to the Washington Post, it was actually one man, Jason White, who decided to leave the generous tip for Harris.
“We have to think about being better Americans, we have to look into ourselves and how we treat one another,” White explained. “If everyone did a little something to show respect…we can love one another.”
Whilst it’s unfortunate that the nation has been inundated with a deluge of media bias against Trump and his supporters, it’s refreshing that Harris can share her wonderful experience with us all. The encounter shows us the power of a genuine heartfelt smile born of kindness.