My oldest son knows I go nuts over hipon. Sometimes, when he returns from visiting a special girl in Pampanga, he’d bring home a kilo or two of the expensive crustacean, knowing it is ever out of reach of my skimpy budget.
It is enough he goes out of his way and dents his wallet to get it for me without being asked. But not to him. When I come home, the gambas would be simmering in the pot, wafting a peppery scent that makes me forget my name. Excited, he would drag me to the table, serve the steaming casserole himself, and watch me demolish the shellfish, morsel after exquisite morsel.
That’s love, no doubt. But I also call it walking the extra mile.
A friend is sometimes asked by her boss to draft a client proposal. After sitting with him to agree on the broad coverage and work plan, she’d research on it, consult experts, and write the document while running a constant spelling and grammar check.
When she submits the proposal to the boss, she would have prepared as well a covering letter, a Power Point presentation of its highlights, plus whatever annexes of budget and timetable it will finally require.
The boss receives the “complete package” with an astonished smile. All he expects, after all, is the bare proposal.
That is commitment to work, of course. But I also call it walking the extra mile.
The average person does things to comply, to satisfy. The extra-miler delights, surprises, takes one’s breath away.
Extra-miling makes one memorable, even irreplaceable, in the family, in the workplace, in the hearts of men. It invites the reaction: “You didn’t have to but I am glad you did.”
You didn’t have to finish the report today, as it is needed next week – but I am glad you did.
You didn’t have to call up a hundred National bookstores to get me the only Ann Tyler I haven’t read, but I am glad you did.
You didn’t have to tuck a sliced lemon into my tea, but I am glad you did.
You didn’t have to crack the butong pakwan I love to eat while watching TV, but I am glad you did.
You didn’t have to give me three dozen roses, as three stems would do -- but I am glad you did.
And you didn’t have to shield my eyes from the sun while I slept, but -- bless you!! -- I am glad you did.