Dear Dalitso

Everyday lessons for tomorrow

Being a 2Mile Person

February 28, 2024
Letter #36

The idea is borrowed from Matthew 5:41 where the Lord Jesus Christ teaches that if one is coerced to walk one mile, they should go the extra mile. It is pregnant with various meanings and has been adopted into the English Lexicon to refer to instances of unusual kindness and service. Other organisations refer to themselves as 2-mile organisations in reference to their commitment to excellence or maybe a superior service.

I have noticed that in many instances we are all concerned about being exploited- this could be at work, at school, or other social places. We know our rights and our place. We are most likely not to give in to what looks like brazen exploitation. When coerced to do something we think that looks outside of the usual work, we are most likely going to complain about it. In the workplace we easily default to asking, ‘Is that in the contract or terms of reference’. Instances of doing more than we are asked to do are becoming rare. That could be a challenge for our generation. We religiously stick to organizational policies, with when we should start work and knock off. That is the bare minimum- but we have made it to be the hallmark of our services.

What are the 2Mile kind of people you may ask?

  • Society and the world of business at large are looking for people who are purpose-driven and who will serve beyond the call of duty. In many instances we are satisfied with the bare minimum. Coming to work for instance is a bare minimum.
  • Spending time thinking about the job and fashioning solutions before and whilst you are at work is the beginning of a transition into a 2Mile person.
  • Typically, 2Mile people will not leave things unfinished because they ran out of time-they will invest more time until a solution is found.
  • They tend to spend more time helping others without expecting anything in return. They have an active life juggling many responsibilities within their community unperturbed by the pressure on their wellbeing.

This is the arena for medals. Perhaps the closest description to what I am discussing here is the one given by Grant (2013, p.10) in Give and Take where givers are described as people who would most likely spend more time giving advice, they prefer to give than take, collaborating with others. Whilst takers (maybe 1-mile persons) tend to be self-focused, evaluating what other people can offer.

My focus today however is not about comparisons. Readers may end up trying to box people- first and usually identify themselves as the 2Mile person and everyone else as the 1Mile person. No that is not my objective. I am writing to you Dali to consider a more superior approach to life. One that will go the extra mile to help (even strangers), to turn the other cheek, and not seek revenge when people have done you wrong. Don’t keep grudges (you will be wounded for life) instead focus on helping others without seeking a ‘thank you’. Being a 2Mile person will not make you No.1 but it comes with the benefit of peace. You are not competing against anyone but instead staying in your lane and doing the best that you can. The world needs a little kindness. Demonstrate kindness. When at school or at work don’t focus on your individual promotion but on how the whole team can succeed. Identify ways in which you can be of help/use to others.

How do we reset to being 2mile kind of people? Small things that matter.

  • Always be kind.
  • Be fair.
  • Be transparent about your actions and intentions.
  • Be willing to serve others-even those seemingly below you.
  • Give of your time, skills, empathy, and time. 
  • Always ask if there is more you can do.
  • Try to go beyond the call of duty in what you do. Before submitting that school/work output, ask yourself- would I be happy if I was the one receiving this?
  • Show some enthusiasm- it goes a long way.

There is a reward after all. Research has shown that typical 2Mile persons always land the top job, and they get the trophy.

Eventually, it pays off to be diligent, to be willing to do more than you are asked for. In many instances, you sleep easy knowing you did all you could or rather you played your part in serving humanity. They will notice no matter how seemingly blind they are. Keep on doing good. Even if no one notices.


Grant, A. (2013). Give and take: Why helping others drives our success. Penguin Books. 

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