Thursday, January 29, 2009

Opening Doors

Quoting a well-known cliché, I heard someone on the radio say “Be careful about opening doors because you might not be able to close them again.” I thought, “Sounds to me like a pretty fearful way to live”. After having completed my thought, the speaker, having finished her pause, went on to personalize the statement she’d just made, “It scares me to open doors”, she said. “I’m always afraid I won’t be able to close them, so I usually won’t open one.”

I don’t worry about opening doors. They’re doors, they have handles, and hinges. They’re made to open. They’re not walls. Walls are made to hold you in, or to keep other people out. If a wall’s got a door, I’ll open it. If it doesn’t, I’ll leave it alone. I don’t make a point of crashing through walls, that’s why they have doors. A door will let you in a room, or a closet, if you want to be in there, but it will also let you out if you’re not afraid of the outdoors. I guess the point here is that a door gives you options. Why be afraid of having options?

One might wonder why I would feel it necessary to open doors that others have shut tight, reasoning, “They might like it in there”. And maybe they do, I don’t know, but I do know that some people like to breathe stale air because it’s the only air they know. However, it’s the fear I hear coming through the walls that most often provokes my involvement. Fear is a difficult thing to admit, not everybody can. Most people do not lock themselves in those little rooms by choice, they get driven inside by circumstances, or by people from their past. Some choose their own prisons, but they, too, ought to at least be given the opportunity for freedom. I don’t drag anybody out against their will, I just crack the door a little, just a little. Anybody that wants to can push it closed again.

For most people, getting into a room is a little easier than getting out. Most doors open inward, and are more than willing to allow you access. As I said, getting out is a little more difficult, but, y’know what, it’s easier for someone stuck in a room to walk through a door that’s been opened for them from the outside than it might be for them to pull it open for themselves from the inside. Some people just cannot bring themselves to reach for the handle, and some cannot even find it in the dark. Like the lady on the radio said, “Too scary”.

I’ll continue to open doors around this crumbling Motel of Life so that anybody wishing to poke their head out, to experience freedom, to know what it’s like to be able to see, and to breathe clear air again, will be able to. I never insist somebody come out into the light, I just let a little light in through the crack in the door so that they can see what’s waiting out here on the other side.

Some people don’t like me for it.
But life, for me, is not a popularity contest,
it is an opportunity for living.