I love stories that provide us with gentle reminders, and this is a great one. It’s a wonderfully simple lesson about kindness, patience, and consideration.

Stories like this are great to share with children too. Sometimes they’ll only listen to your words to a certain point, but when they hear the same teaching through the stories of others the lesson has more impact, although I have to say that I learned long ago it’s not always the adults who are teaching the children… often it’s the other way around.

I hope you enjoy this story, and please share it to help inspire others to remember its valuable lesson.


A Dish of Ice Cream

National Dairy Council Ad - 1944

National Dairy Council Ad – 1944

In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10 year old boy entered a coffee shop and sat the counter. The waitress put a glass of water in front of him and asked what he’d like.

“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he said.

“50 cents,” replied the waitress.

The boy pulled a handful of change out of his pocket and studied his small collection of coins.

“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.

Some people were now waiting for a table and the waitress grew a bit impatient with him.

“35 cents,” she said in an abrupt and frustrating tone.

The boy again counted his coins, then said, “I’ll have the plain ice cream.”

The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the counter and walked away.

The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back, she started wiping down the counter and then began to cry at what she saw.

There, placed neatly beside the empty dish, was 15 cents – her tip.

The moral of the story: No matter what the situation is, always treat others as you would want to be treated.