One of the first things I do when I get to work is to set my tip jar out and put a starter five-dollar bill in it.
Then I go get my coffee.
This week, I return to the piano with a steaming mug in hand, only to hear a group of women muttering that, “Five dollars seems a bit much for music.”
I nod as friendly of a hello as I can muster, sit down, and start to play.
There is an awkward tension in the air as they linger, waiting for the final guest in their party to arrive so that everyone can be seated at the table.
They know I’ve heard their comment, and now, it just feels like an obligation to do my job for free.
I don’t remember what I was playing that night.
But as I come to the end of my first medley of the evening, a man walks over and puts a crisp twenty-dollar bill over my five.
“You’re brilliant,” he says.
I thank him for listening and sit up a little straighter.
The women, of course, have witnessed this entire exchange.
But what really matters that I am humbled to always receive so much more than I ask for.