Homer often is seen in Moe’s bar, he is not only loyal, but at parts Moe is even a part of Homer’s personal life. It reminded me of the time I was introduced to the philosopher Martin Buber. He said,
“Man wishes to be confirmed in his being by man, and wishes to have a presence in the being of the other….
Secretly and bashfully he watches for a YES which allows him to be and which can come to him only from one human person to another.”
― Martin Buber, I and Thou
Buber’s philosophy has often made me realize how important it is to remember that when another human being is serving me at a restaurant or cash register to remember to tip them well and acknowledge them.
When I was sixteen years old, I worked in a Potbelly’s in Wichita, KS. It was a massively popular breakfast spot that would pack out its dining area regularly. I was a clumsy bus boy, trying to pay for my gas and insurance on my El Camino. I was not extremely fast at my job, but I tried to be careful. One day, a large group of bikers came to eat in our restaurant after doing a local Toys for Tots run. They were all decked out in leather, patches, and chains. I was intimidated a bit.
I sat a tub full of glasses on a table nearby them and it was not balanced well. The glasses came down breaking around their boots. The broken glass surrounded them. I felt like such an idiot, but they were gracious and allowed me to clean it all up. They even left me a tip that day. I don’t think I will ever forget that. They showed me that they knew what it was like to be human and really saw me.
I try to think of this moment often when I am around other people who do not know me, I want to be the kind of person who would tip when glass was broken all around me. I want others to know I see them and accept them in their humanity.