Coffee cup & change

Keeping the Change

“Keep the change.”

Is the change just what’s left over, or is it a generous bonus?

What do I leave behind me, not just on cafe tables, but in every room where I spend time? Do people smile when they see what I’ve left, or do they feel cheated?

These are questions worth asking. Everywhere I go, I leave something “on the table.” It may be a feeling or an impression but it affects others. How do others feel when I’ve left the room?

What do I leave behind me? Hurt feelings, or warmth? Pain, or relief? Confusion, or confidence?

If I don’t like the answers to those questions, what needs to change?

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Rabbi Ruth Adar is a teaching rabbi in San Leandro, CA. She has many hats: rabbi, granny, and ham radio operator K6RAV. She blogs at and teaches at Jewish Gateways in Albany, CA.

8 thoughts on “Keeping the Change”

  1. This is excellent timing for me. I’ve been thinking about Facebook and how I conduct myself.

    Too often my default is to argue, to deconstruct logic, to challenge. But… Why? To sound smart? It’s unlikely that my argument is going to tip someone into a new way of thinking, especially if I’m being caustic.

    I’m trying to follow a policy of kindness, but it’s hard. Especially since I have some pet causes, at the root of which are usually equality and compassion (which too me are about kindness)… But do I really need to post preachy articles? But then again, not posting them means that people’s feeds may fill up with opposite messages, and people can be influenced by what they perceive that ‘everyone thinks’.

    So I try to balance it – be kinder in my comments, post more general good stuff and a few social justice articles, but in moderation. And I go back occasionally and delete when I don’t get it right. 🙂

  2. Every time I eat out I always leave a small handwritten thank you note with the tip for my server. Seeing their faces when they read them makes it worthwhile because I used to be a server/busser.

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