The Boy and the Waitress

It is not the first time that I bring on a story that emphasizes that things are not necessarily as we see them. Sam Boneh, a good friend of mine, sent to me this small ‘food for thought’ from a book that he read:

 In the days when an ice cream sundae cost much less, a 10-years-old boy entered a hotel coffee shop and sat at a table. A waitress put a glass of water in front of him.
“How much is an ice cream sundae?” he asked.
“Fifty cents,” replied the waitress.

The little boy pulled his hand out of his pocket and studied a number coins in it.
“How much is a dish of plain ice cream?” he inquired.
Some people were now waiting for a table so the waitress was a bit impatient. “35 cents,” she said brusquely.

The little boy again counted the coins. “I’ll have the plain ice cream,” he said.
The waitress brought the ice cream, put the bill on the table and walked away.
The boy finished the ice cream, paid the cashier and departed.

When the waitress came back she picked up the empty plate and then swallowed hard at what she saw. There, neatly beside the empty dish, were two nickels and five pennies – her tip.

The simple understanding that the boy did have enough money for the ice cream sundae but that he still chose a cheaper ice cream just in order to leave a tip for her, stayed with her for a while…

(From “A lifetime of Success” by Pat Williams)                          

 The child, I guess, was properly raised and educated and, no doubt, his generosity was outstanding for a child. Yet, for me the interesting point that comes out of this story is the judgements and interpretations we usually give to the facts.

I read once in a book written by Haim Shapira, Phd., about the Belgian painter Rene Magritte who painted once a smoking pipe that he titled “This is not a pipe” (Ceci n’est pas une pipe).

How come? It is certainly a pipe (see the picture below or in the blog), so why Magritte writes that this is not a pipe?

If we think about it for a moment, we’ll notice that Magritte is right. It is certainly not a pipe. It is a painting of a pipe. A pipe and a painting of a pipe are not the same. So is the world around us that we assume is real. What we usually see is only a painting of the world that our senses are painting for us again and again. (From the book “About the Really Important Things”, by Dr. Haim Shapira)

Fireworks (74)
Shuka, Thursday, February 10, 2011


"This is not a pipe" - Rene Magritte

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“the essential is invisible to the eye”

I invite you all to watch this charming movie:
“Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain” by J.P.Jeunet

With warmest thoughts

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