What a dinner with Danish friend taught me for the future
What a dinner with Danish friends taught me for the future
Last week I met my dear friend Stig Lauritzen again – after 24 years. Near Copenhagen, he and his husband Greg now run Paradehuset at Gisselfeld Castle (www.paradehuset.dk). A wonderful old greenhouse with magnificent plants, decorations and furnishings. A kind of magical forest that you can buy, at least in parts.
Anyway, we were sitting in his Copenhagen flat at the time, an old lieutenant’s house around the corner from the royal family’s city palace. We had a wonderful dinner on the best Royal Copenhagen crockery – still the original Danish made (today it is mostly made in Thailand). Were about eight or nine people together with other friends of Stig and Greg. After midnight we finished the delicious dinner with a final glass of champagne. All the plates and glasses we had used during the evening were still on the table and my dear wife and I, together with the other guests, wanted to clear the table so that Stig wouldn’t have so much work.
And then Stig said: “When you have guests, never clear the table directly after dinner, but always the morning after. Then you can enjoy the nice conversations and thoughts of dinner again.” I thought it was funny, charming at the time, but the meaning in terms of shaping the future has stuck with me and he has continued to inspire me ever since, almost 25 years now.
Because how often is it that we let moments pass too quickly and we don’t hear what was said properly. The next day we are already on another topic, having almost forgotten the evening before. The same applies to our work. A job is done and instead of appreciating it once again, we devote ourselves to the next one, not pausing to consider what we actually created before, how important, significant, beautiful (or not) it was. We work through life. From one point to the next.
We appreciate what we have created and achieved and incorporate this recognition into the design of the next steps. We appreciate the people around us and their value to us and our society. And we visualise this by taking feelings and thoughts into account when planning for the future.
Because the future builds on the great things we have created. Even if much will be new and even if it will be different. Behind this are people who have created the basis for it with their feelings, ideas and inspiration. We must take this value with us. Only then can we create a future that will fulfil us.
So, next time, don’t clear everything away immediately when really lovely guests were there, but enjoy the beautiful thoughts of the evening again the next morning and plan what you could do with whom in the future.
Thank you Stig!