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Jason White

Many of us commit random acts of kindness quietly and without fanfare; once in a while they become public, but that’s not the point. The point is to try to improve the world around us, and in doing so we can improve ourselves as well.

Former Artesian Jason White of Lubbock had a spontaneous act of kindness made very public a couple of weeks ago, and it’s generated a lot of discussion across the nation and online.

Jason and some friends were in Washington, D.C., for the presidential inauguration when they wandered into a local restaurant, Busboys and Poets. The restaurant has rave reviews for its breakfasts and is also known as a venue for expressing oneself openly and freely.

Rosalynd Harris

Now we are all aware that the recent presidential election was a lively one, and with the D.C. Women’s March having just happened, emotions were running high. Jason and his friends were waited on by Rosalynd Harris, and while they didn’t necessarily agree politically, they enjoyed chitchatting during their meal.

As Jason paid their bill, he decided to add a $450 tip — the figure is a nod to Donald Trump as the 45th president — and a personal note that read, “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 (Jason is a dentist), our country will come together as one people. Not race. Not gender. Just American. God bless!”

The timing couldn’t have been better for Rosalynd, who was facing some financial challenges that had her worried. But the issue here is not a liberal vs. conservative thing, or a black vs. white thing — it’s about looking past those differences to see the fundamental commonality that we all share — we are all Americans.

Whether we are excited and having a great day because we’re happy about the election results, the Women’s March, or just relieved to have a personal worry resolved, we are all in this life together. And we can work together, learn from each other, respect each other, and SMILE to continue to make great things happen. We are so fortunate to live in a country where we can openly express different opinions — think how boring it would be if everyone was exactly the same!

Jason’s impulsive act of kindness can and hopefully will inspire more — I’m kind of proud that an Artesian was the one to make this point in the national news, and I’m optimistic enough to hope that we can see more of this in the next four years.

Thank you to Colby Itkowitz of The Washington Post for reporting this story on Jan. 25, 2017: “A White Trump Voter Explains Why He Left A Black Waitress A $450 Tip With An Uplifting Note.”