Skip to content

Tipping culture in America.

Good morning, friends, and welcome to Friday. Can you believe we’re nearing the end of the year? For me, this has been a long year — but also short. I’ve done so much, and I feel like I’ve grown in many positive ways, but at the same time each passing year seems to get shorter and shorter.

I’ll stop before I start getting deep and existential. Instead, here are the final four stories I gathered for you this week:

Change your environment, change your life. [Rich in What Matters] — “Decluttering isn’t a magic wand—you can still have problems and feel negative things in an uncluttered space. That’s real life. But life’s challenges are easier to navigate in a home environment that supports you instead of one that piles on additional stress.”

The changing landscape of tipping culture in America. [Pew Research Center] — “A majority of Americans say they would tip 15% or less for an average meal at a sit-down restaurant. Nearly six-in-ten (57%) say this, including 2% who say they wouldn’t leave any tip. Only a quarter of people say they’d tip 20% or more.” Please note: This is a multi-page article. It’s easy to miss the navigation at the bottom of each page. [I am not kidding: Last weekend in Austin, I was prompted to tip in a grocery store. Fucking insane.]

What if money expired? [Noema] — “Is his idea of an expiring currency any more absurd than the status quo we inherited? Perhaps his greatest contribution is to remind us that the rules of money can be reinvented, as indeed they always have. Money is a construct of our collective imagination, subject to our complacency, yes, but also to our inquiry, values and highest ambitions.” This article is l-o-n-g but it’s fascinating. I bookmarked it as a keeper.

Essential skills for being human. [The New York Times] — “In any collection of humans, there are diminishers and there are illuminators. Diminishers are so into themselves, they make others feel insignificant. They stereotype and label. If they learn one thing about you, they proceed to make a series of assumptions about who you must be. Illuminators, on the other hand, have a persistent curiosity about other people. They have been trained or have trained themselves in the craft of understanding others.”

That’s it. Jim will be with you next week, then we Americans will take some time off to celebrate Thanksgiving. I’ll see you again after the holiday.