We often see doors represented as opportunities, whether that is an opening that could pave the way to greatness or an escape route that could lead us away from misfortune. “When one door closes, another one opens” is a positive mindset to adopt in the face of rejection, but what if a newly-presented gateway turns out to be the wrong door? In times of desperation, anything that can transport us away from our suffering is more than welcome and rarely questioned, but in normal, everyday circumstances, seeking a new path might not always be the best idea.
Some people, on account of their pursuit of their dream crumbling before their eyes, resort to a safe, secure option when their desired door closes shut. Others, on account of the appearance of cracks in their relationships with loved ones, resort to the safe, secure environment of one’s internal self when their desired door does not look as desirable as it once did.
The doors we idealistically view as opportunities too often turn out to be escape routes. Escapism is not just an easy avenue to routinely exploit, but also an addictive one that can filter into all areas of our lives. It’s the reason why teens in 2015 were spending around 9 hours a day on social media (a figure which would not have improved in 2019) and more people applied to appear on the 2018 edition of Love Island than to Oxbridge (another figure that will only ever increase). Avoiding the unpleasant, daunting and banal aspects of our daily lives has become a necessary part of the human experience, with an increasing number of escapist methods being established as part of the norm.
So instead of seeking out doors, maybe we should refocus our priorities and become better keys. By this, I mean strive to realign our aspirations and know ourselves enough so that we can choose our doors more wisely, so that we would not have to rely on indulging in escapism more than what is necessary. If we were robust, master keys, we would instil within ourselves a belief that we could unlock any door that we want, not simply those that are easily attainable or readily available during times of uncertainty.
Entering through a flimsy door will never satisfy our goals and desires nearly as much as the uplifting realisation that we, in the search for opportunity or salvation, are in fact the ultimate key.