In my wallet I always carry a $100 bill.
If my posting this leads to me being mugged, so be it!
Come and get your Benjamin, you cranky little thief.
I have it there as a “just in case” for when a credit card has some issue, the power is out at a store and I have to pay in cash, or I need to pay for parking at a pay station and they ask me for a smaller bill and we stare at each other since I don’t have anything else…and they let me park for free.
But it’s MOSTLY there for one reason – on occasion I feel inclined to leave it hidden under the final bill receipt at a diner, bar, or restaurant, usually late at night, after a successful event, as I am starving from a long day.
When I notice extra thoughtful service rendered, I feel it’s a cool thing to leave for a hard worker.
I don’t film this or post selfies about it.
I have yet to do a party where everyone gathers around to watch me give this money, to be celebrated online for my “charity”.
Most of the time my family never even knows I’ve done this with or without them to witness it.
2 times in the hundreds of times I’ve done this, the server will come running after me once we’ve exited the building, to the shock of my children, as my new best friend hugs and thanks me and yells, “Praise The Lord! Thank you, Thank you!”
It’s awkward, but it’s special, and it’s the reason I carry a $100 bill.
Giving away $100 is way better than making it.
I don’t know how or why this began, but I believe I can trace it back to doing an event years ago where I realized I had just made $100 per minute on stage.
I never thought in high school I would someday even be able to make $100 per day in my future career, but after this gig I was feeling extreme gratitude for the fact that I had stumbled into such a blessing as making a living doing what I love, and being paid extreme amounts for the value.
As I sat watching my server give their all, I remember she cleared the table next to mine, a party of over 10, and looked at the receipt, only to see the portion for a tip was left empty, and I could see her visibly crushed by this.
She and I barely spoke, I know nothing of her story, but that moment made me realize how hard she was trying and literally keeping The Promise for everyone around her, and the last table didn’t even have the decency to acknowledge her efforts.
And here I was on the heels of a standing ovation for doing something that felt like very little effort.
After paying my bill, I reached in my backpack and found a $100 bill, and snuck it under the receipt on my uncleared table.
I left quickly, and walked outside, looking in the window to see if she’d get it.
It took a while for her to return to my table, but I could tell, due to the way I was dressed (I was in my post show clothes after getting changed, which essentially were pajamas), she wasn’t expecting much on the tip of the receipt.
She looked down and saw that I had left 25% on the receipt and I saw a look of relief on her face. She was grateful. She cleaned the table and then moved the receipt.
There sat the $100 bill.
Suddenly she carefully set the plates back on the table in shock.
She bent over with her head down and silently
breathed a sigh of relief
wiping her tears
she resumed clearing the table.
She then briskly walked to the kitchen, where I saw her tell her co-workers, and they all were stunned as well.
Remember, this was years ago, before social media posts and promotions of charity, as I don’t think this sort of thing happened back then as much.
But it had a profound affect on me to do this secret service.
I stood in the parking lot watching all of this unfold, as I didn’t know how it would be received.
In that moment, I made a promise to always carry $100 in my wallet for the opportunity to surprise and bless someone who was keeping the promise in their work.
I turned and walked away into the night.
I believe every person that reads my blog does something like this for others that pretty much no one knows is your thing.
It’s your secret promise of kindness.
I hesitate to even share this, as I’ve done it in secret for almost 2 decades and have never written about it.
Whatever yours is, if you want to share, please inspire us with your ideas of how you do it.
And if you don’t share with us, please promise to continue doing what you do, which is your private Signature Move of blessing lives, and keeping The Promise to those blessed by your heart.
~ Jason Hewlett
Husband, Father, Writer, Mentor, Hiker
- Speaker Hall of Fame * Award-Winning Entertainer * Coach & Mentor
- World’s Only Keynote Speaker utilizing entertainment, musical impressions, and comedy to Create Legendary Leadership through the Power of Commitment
- Author of “The Promise To The One”