Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Simple Suggestion #274... Go beyond what's expected

Back in February, I celebrated a special anniversary. It was 30 years since I met and stayed with a wonderful couple in Belgium, whom I have moodled about before on several occasions. Although they are far away, Gaby and Yvonne have been constants in my life through letters, Christmas cards, and several visits -- most recently my solitary visit with them in October of 2016.

So when I realized that the anniversary of our meeting was approaching, I decided to send them some flowers to mark the days of February 21-23, 1988, the days I first fell in love with them. I found a florist in their vicinity, placed an order for a purple orchid, and supplied a simple message about celebrating 30 years of friendship.

A week later, Gaby (who is 91) responded with an email that amazed and delighted me:

My very dear friends Lee and Maria
Yesterday when I came home at 12 h , a wonderful surprise was waiting for me .The florist had delivered it by the neighbours while I was not at home : A magnificent pink orchidee with 30 flowers in commemoration of our 30 years friendship since 1988 .  We were exceptionally touched by this affecting “ beau geste “ .

I was very happy that Gaby was so pleased, but I was even more amazed by the thoughtfulness of the florist to send an orchid with exactly 30 blossoms. Perhaps she or he knows Gaby, and that he is the kind of man who would think to count them! Or perhaps this is just someone who appreciates symbolic gestures and goes above and beyond to delight and surprise through the kind of deep attention to detail that makes for true "beau gestes."

I sent a note of thanks to the company from which I ordered the orchid, and received an email in return saying that they would forward my compliments to the florist who filled the order. Since then I've been thinking a lot about the extra things we can do, those little gestures, beau gestes that show we are paying special attention to the details of someone else's life.

So today's suggestion is to try to go above and beyond what's expected -- to pay attention to details and really make someone's day!

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