Over and Above

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Image courtesy of Vlado / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yesterday, We drove back from our holiday. Over six hours in the car and we didn’t want to kill each other, I am sure that is some kind of record!

We had barely been back when I received a text inviting us out for dinner. After a week away we were ready for a catch up with friends. We went to a pub for a meal and drinks.

Mistakes were made with our order, the starter turned up cold which when it is baked cheese is not good. However, instead of the usual apology, we received a new starter, free cocktail and free bottle of wine (not just the house wine either) this was a huge gesture in my eyes. Yes, you can say they were hoping for return custom and saving reputation but despite that, for me it was over and above.

I started thinking about the concept of going over and above and I was trying to remember when I last did that for someone and I was found wanting. Don’t get me wrong, I help people out, encourage people and like to think that I am a good friend, but I have been a little minimalist recently I feel.

It is easy isn’t it when you aren’t to happy with yourself to start making excuses, I have been busy at work, my health hasn’t been so good recently, I don’t have time etc…

The thing is, it doesn’t wash with me. Those things will often be true in my life, if I wait for a time when I am not busy, or fully healthy or feeling rested then I have a feeling it will never come.

It brings me back to the word sacrifice. Quite strong isn’t it? Not one we like to think of, seems extreme like it belongs in a super hero or action film.

The thing is, I think there needs to be more of it. Not in the sense of performing sacrifices or anything macabre like that but in terms of people making sacrifices for others.

When was the last time you went over and above?

What about your friend who has been on the quiet side recently, have you text them? Called? Made attempts to find out why?

What about those on the fringes of your social group or without family close by? Have you invited them for a meal? To the pub? Cinema? Coffee?

I am of course talking to myself as much as anyone else here.

It is so easy to become cocooned, to be closeted in our own little world. Maintaining surface relationships, doing the bare minimum. Is it satisfying? Short term probably. Long term I am not sure.

I am setting myself a challenge over the next few weeks, before Christmas, to go over and above more often. To go out of my way to do things for people. To stop hiding in my cocoon.

I don’t know how it will turn out, but that isn’t a reason not to try.

So who wants to join me?

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