Open (Door) Minded

Every minute, about one hundred and eight people in the world die.

Before I finish writing this entry, so many last breaths will be taken, so many eyelids lowered, so many hands gone limp.

And yet, here we are. We still wake up every day with thousands of opportunities spread in front of us, a breakfast fit for kings. Even the people who seem to have nothing, who don’t even know when or if their next meal is coming, are able to choose what attitude they’re going to take. They can choose what to do with their bodies to the extent that they are able to use them. They can decide which words will leave their lips. Those of us who have the necessities—and, usually, far more—are blessed with opportunity beyond reason.

But somehow, somehow, it doesn’t seem to be enough. After all, if I were more beautiful, I would have so many more options. People would likely be sweeter to me, and potential lovers would take more interest. If I were thinner, I could buy cuter clothes and not have to pay a ridiculous amount of money for them. If my feet were smaller…if I had more money…if my hair was nicer…if my college had bigger dorms…if I had that television set…if I’d only gotten that job…

It seems so hard when we see the things we wanted pass us by. We make decisions we aren’t happy with, our relationships don’t work out, and we don’t get the promotion. Sometimes these things are mildly annoying; sometimes, they’re downright earth-shattering.

You know what, though? Either way, life goes on. We find ourselves smiling, and eventually, laughing. We meet new people. We get a different job.

Life does not offer one chance to be happy; it gives us a nearly infinite amount. Until the day that we, too, take our last breaths, we have the opportunity to feel joy in our lives. How silly would it be to waste that opportunity because we’re too busy bemoaning the happiness that slipped past us?

We never really know how anything is going to turn out. You could go on a blind date to appease a friend and meet the love of your life, or you could marry the love of your life and find you didn’t understand that person at all. Either way, you won’t know until it happens. There is only one choice you can make that has a predictable outcome, and that is the choice to do nothing. When you make that choice, you’re choosing not to find joy. You’re choosing to relinquish all the other decisions you could have made. You’re choosing to give up on a life that’s waiting for you.

Life is a hallway to walk through, a series of thousands of rooms with thousands of doors. Sometimes, those doors are locked when we reach them, and sometimes, they bang shut right in front of our faces. But for every door that closes, another one must open. While it’s true that you can’t gain without the possibility of loss, it’s also true that losing one thing may very well allow you to gain something else.

There are no dead ends.

Rock bottom is still a bottom, not an abyss; you can climb back out.

Every minute, about one hundred and eight people in the world close their eyes for the last time.

…And about two hundred and fifty open theirs for the first.


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