An Unexpected Lesson from Over-tipping

As I wrote in a post about a week ago, I’ve begun a practice in over-tipping — meaning that I now tip more than I normally would have; more than what previously felt “comfortable.” My initial objective was to foster an attitude of abundance, but I’m beginning to notice another positive result.

By charging myself a premium on convenience (e.g.: having someone serve me food rather than cooking it myself), I’m simultaneously making myself more aware of what a luxury it really is and further incentivizing myself to be less lazy and not outsource my personal responsibilities.

Not that there’s anything wrong with treating yourself. But it’s healthy to be conscious of the fact that having people serve you in various manners neither is a given nor is natural outside the context of capitalism (or some other arbitrary, socially constructed hierarchy).

On the contrary, the natural (and ideal) way to live is to serve yourself. Using meals as an example, it’s healthier because you have full knowledge of and control over what goes into your body; the skill makes you a more informed, well-rounded person; and the self-reliance builds character and gives you a sense of accomplishment.

Of course, I’m typing all of this while I enjoy a six-dollar cappuccino ($4 + $2 tip) lovingly served by my local coffee shop. But at least my 50% gratuity indeed represents exactly that: gratitude. And the total amount hurts just enough — after all, $6 could easily have been an entire meal at a fast food place — for me to treat both this cappuccino and the writing session it has fueled with the respect they deserve.