Tuesday was a day that appeared to be unexceptional. Because I wasn’t teaching, I could sleep in until 7:00, enjoy my coffee and commune with my stationary bicycle. The end of the day included a rehearsal with my civic chorus, something that always inspires. And then I received the email that defined and enriched my day.

Several days ago, I sent a note to a client for whom I had recently completed some work on a retirement living community program with which she was involved. After thinking further about the program, I sent her a brief email that included some observations about the community that she serves.

While it wasn’t a major undertaking, I was happy to add something of interest, with no hope of compensation or recognition. The email I received included profuse thanks for my gesture. Sending and receiving a response required a total of thirty seconds on each person’s part but I was fully gratified by her appreciation.

The point is that we frequently have options to go beyond what is expected or needed. If we choose to exercise those options, they can represent wonderful moments for everyone involved. Whether it’s from the editing desk, the classroom or the local grocery store, doing something or anything beyond the routine can take on major significance.

This is an intriguing concept for me. It doesn’t mean that if I am asked to compose something of 300 words that I write 400. No, it takes the form of sending suggestions for other points that might be included or perhaps another perspective that can be added. In the school setting, it may be making myself available to a busy administrator who has a large school and many faculty positions to fill.

Clearly, it takes some effort and focus to do anything beyond that which is requested. But based on the data received from my client when I spent the time to add something to her campaign, I will persist in my search for opportunities. At the very least, I can hope that I made the job of my client a bit easier by my contribution. Shalom.

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