Empathy: the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
When a young patron whom I've never seen before signed his credit card receipt and handed it back to me, he left me wondering. He left me a $23 tip on a $26 dollar tab. 23 dollars on a 26 dollar tab? That's almost a 100% tip. And although I would like to say I do well at my job, I wouldn't expect someone to tip me that much even if I deserved it. It was quite evident he didn't make a mistake. But as he headed towards the door I stopped him anyway to make sure it was right. He immediately responded "No it's not a mistake, thats for you." He proceeded to say "I just start working as a manager at a pizzeria and we work off of tips, so I understand, I get it." Those words resonated with me. "I understand. I get it." I find this to be empathy in it's truest form--the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. And in turn taking action because of those feelings. It was really nice of him and it made me smile. But also a reminder how important empathy is. First off he put himself in my shoes, and second of all he made sure to treat me how he would like to be treated. These are simple things that people tend to forget to do sometimes, but are super important. Third off he made me want to pay it forward. Whenever I dine out I am a pretty good tipper as it is, but occasionally when someone really deserves it I will give an extra big tip :D