Last weekend I decided to take Linda on a mother’s day trip to Nashville for the weekend.
She has proved to be an awesome mother to our baby boy for the last 15 months and she deserved a little trip away.
On the morning we were set to come back home, we began packing up.
As I pulled out my wallet to leave a tip for the cleaning lady I flipped through the cash and saw that I had $46 (two $20s and six $1s).
I opted for the $6 and left it on the pillow.
We finished packing up our stuff and made our way into the hallway. As we did, the cleaning lady was standing right there.
She was probably in her mid to late sixties and came across as a fairly unfriendly person. I assumed that she was probably having a bad day, year, or maybe even just has had an all-around rough life.
She asked if we were leaving, to which we replied that we were and then made our way to the elevator.
Just as the elevator doors were opening, she came running down the hall into the elevator corridor to stop us.
Her demeanor had completely changed and with obvious deep appreciation she thanked us for leaving the tip.
Looking into her eyes, it was easy to see how much this small gesture meant to her and how it was a bright spot in her day.
We chatted for a second, got into the elevator and were on the road home.
As an aside, one of the reasons I love road-trips so much is because driving for hours on end gives you an opportunity to think and ponder things in a way that day-to-day life doesn’t typically allow. It is kind of like being in the shower all day. 😉
Linda and I often have some of our most fruitful discussions while in the car for long hours together and it is time that I truly cherish.
As we were driving home we chatted about and pondered her response. I was deeply impacted by how much our meager $6 tip affected that woman.
I honestly don’t know how many people leave tips for hotel housekeepers, or even what the going rate is.
But she clearly felt a strong enough appreciation to chase us down the hall to thank us.
Typically something like this makes me feel really good about myself and proud that I was able to make someone’s day better.
But in this case I felt a little upset with myself for not giving her a $20, or all $46.
Not in a guilty way, but more in a missed opportunity.
If $6 was going to make her day, how much would $20 have blessed her?
Had we left all $46 how many people would she have told?
As someone who (and I am speculating) maybe doesn’t receive much appreciation from those around her, how loved and valued would she have felt if we had left $46?
Is it possible that the $46 could have been a moment that she’d remember the rest of her life?
And as someone who is blessed to have a successful business, living debt-free, and with my needs met what does that $46 mean to me?
What I realized is that the scales are disproportionately tipped to yield more fruit when something is given.
The amount of satisfaction that I would get out of the $46 pales in comparison to the joy and appreciation she would experience had I given it.
If that weren’t enough, it would have been such a joy for me to witness as well.
Again, just to reiterate, I am in no way feeling guilty myself, or trying to shame you into giving more than you can.
I am thrilled that the $6 was a blessing to her, but personally I want to take better advantage of opportunities to give extravagantly and I hope you will be on the lookout for them as well!
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. Deuteronomy 16:17
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it. Proverbs 3:27
And here are some more bible verses about giving for further study.
Tips to put more money in your pocket & Biblical principles on managing it well.
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