Texas Liberal

All People Matter

I Tipped The Kid Who Handed Me A Burrito $5 Because I Felt He Shared My Outlook And Might, With Time, Share My Values


A few days ago I ordered a burrito from the drive-up window of a Mexican take-out place here in Houston.

I drove up to the window after I made my order and the person working was a kid of maybe 17.

I assessed him based on my own experiences and outlook.

I felt this young person was someone who might have a creative temperament and nature. Also, he seemed kind.

This view was based on the entirety of his appearance and the way he spoke and carried himself.

I have a sympathy for the creative temperament and I took a liking to this person.

I felt he did not have the libertarian streak often found in younger creative-minded people. I felt he was someone who would pay his taxes.

It takes confidence and quality to have both a distinct personality and to have the willingness to accept that you are one person in a society of many.  

I asked the young man where he went to school. He said he was a high school junior.

I asked him what he hoped to study in life. He said he might wish to study art.

I said I ‘d  already thought that might be the case. He asked me why I’d reached that conclusion.

I tried to explain in the limited time before the next car drove up to order a burrito or a taco.

I said, in essence, it was the whole of his appearance and the way he spoke.

When I mentioned the part about how he talked, he said, without (much) defensiveness, that he was learning English.

I did not have time to say I was not referring to his accent and that I did not care what language he spoke.

The best short reply on my part would have been that he spoke with gentleness and with the suggestion of intellectual substance.   

I gave the kid a $5 tip for handing me the burrito and said maybe it would help him buy an art book.

The young man seemed to go with both the conversation and the tip.

I did not tip him $5 because I’m a great person.

I did it because we must have loyalty not just to our friends and family, but also to those who share our general perspective and outlook and who, in the case of a younger person, might come to share our political and societal values.  

This kid seemed to be on the right side of the aisle. It’s often a hostile world and we all need the support of kindred souls.      

The painting above is a self-portrait of the 17th-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi.  

November 28, 2007 - Posted by | Art, Houston, Relationships | , , , , , ,


  1. I love seeing someone do something like you did. Doing something to support someone who is on the right track. $5, a smile, a thank you, a “you go girl” … can make all the difference in someone’s day, week and may even move their life onto a slightly different direction.

    Comment by Irvine Babysitter | December 22, 2009

  2. Irvine Babysitter—Thanks for the nice comment. You never know. Please visit the blog again.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | December 22, 2009

  3. Your $5 tip reminds me of the whole Random Acts of Kindness kick this nation was on a few years ago. The beautiful part of this is that you never know what actions and change in attitudes your random act of kindness will generate. We rarely get to see that but we continue on hoping that our kindness will be viral, no?

    Comment by Family News | December 24, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: