Once there was a lady that owned a flower shop. She had opened the flower shop several years ago, and after the inevitable rough start up times that many small business face, she started to eke out a profit. Within a year she had realized one of her life long dreams. Ever since she was a little girl, she had dreamed of owning a small flower shop. Buying the flowers from the distributors, arranging them, selling them to people knowing that they would in turn give them to others to increase pleasure and happiness. This was probably her greatest reward, knowing that she was supplying people with something that they used to make others feel good.
After a few years, she started to notice that her sales, and her customer base were fairly consistent. After the first couple of years where moved out of the red and started to make a profit, her profits slowly increased every year, until recently. In the past three or four years, her profits had been almost exactly the same. She started seeing the same customers come into her shop, and she noticed she was selling the same arrangements to the same people during the same times of year.
Even valentines day she noticed the same people come in, that she usually only saw once per year, and by a dozen roses or some other traditional arrangement. Her original satisfaction that she had enjoyed when she started to make money was starting to grow into a complacency that she hadn’t expected. It wasn’t long before she saw her dream turn into another routine that she did on a daily basis. Gone were the times when she was able to generate good feelings as she headed into she shop every morning. More and more often, she would wake up sometimes with a feeling of just another day at work.
She started to notice this attitude among her customers as well. She wasn’t sure if it was she that was affecting them, or they affecting her. It was like everybody was trapped in a routine that they couldn’t’ escape from. Pretty soon the flowers themselves stopped looking so pretty, and began to take on a mundane everyday part of the background feeling to them.
She didnâ€™t’ really notice this, as things like this usually sneak up on you slowly, and before you know it, something that was exciting is suddenly normal and you feel like you’ve always been doing this. You don’t really want to stop, because you’ve been doing it for so long, and it seems that the only that is really keeping you going is inertial. It’s like you are in some kind of a daze, doing the same things over and over again without any real feeling to them.
Then something terrible happened. Her neighbor’s daughter was hit by a car. She was rushed to the hospital and into surgery for three hours. After a long horrible wait, the doctors said she would be fine. It was close though. Her parents were obviously relieved. The flower shop lady decided to visit this little girl in the hospital, as she always exchanged a few words with her on the way to work.
What she saw in the hospital shocked her beyond belief. She had never been in a hospital. She was lucky enough to never have been sick, and although she was happily married, she didn’t have any children. What she saw was the abundance of flowers in the hospital. And she saw looks of happiness on people’s face that she had never seen before in her flower shop. When she visited the little girls room, she couldn’t help but to burst into tears at what happened. The little girls room was filled with flowers bought for the little girl by all of the neighbors. All from the lady’s flower shop. She didnâ€™t notice this at first, but when she walked in, the little girl, who was still recovering from a painful three-hour surgery, beamed at her.
“Look at all your flowers! Did you know you had so many pretty flowers?”
And she did know, and she did notice. And she never forgot.