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July 11th, 2019
In movies, doors seem frivolous, mere commas in the action of the story that characters pass through, unless of course a door has a particularly guarded significance, like the door to a bank vault. These special doors aside, characters in movies appear to have far more relaxed rules of personal space regarding doors. Opening an unlocked door and casually venturing forth is far less common in real life than it is in movies. It’s useful to ask, why?
The narratives that we create and tell each other are ultimately imbued with far more courage and risk taking than we ourselves are comfortable taking in real life. With such stories, we are not just seeking to explain parts of our own existence, we are trying to influence the way we exist, and the way we behave.
Throwing out a counter-productive personal narrative that has had us spinning wheels for years is a fast way to touch ground with those tires and gain traction. Often the story we tell ourselves has us distracted from other, better stories that are either available or waiting to be invented.
The story we tell ourselves is most likely filled with doors that we never dare to open, just like real life. Everyday we walk past hundreds if not thousands of doors and we only ever try to open doors that we know we are meant to open. Granted, those of us who are not thieves respect what we imagine these doors to mean in real life. Concepts of privacy and personal property dominate our milquetoast daring, and mostly for good reason. The highlight here is how casually these concepts are violated in fiction, and often for a greater and justifiable purpose.
We might challenge ourselves with a thought experiment entailing all the doors in the real world: how many physical doors exist that we can walk through without any negative consequence. We might think of the front doors of the headquarters for a company we admire and perhaps dream of working at. This number alone can be in the hundreds if not thousands. Phone calls and emails and even tweeting at someone all constitute walking through a kind of doorway. And all of these things are free, and yet, in spite of being free we often find them far more difficult than spending large amounts of money for some thing or endeavor or vacation, even though these free chances could lead to far better lives.
Unlike a wall, a door is fundamentally meant to be used to go through. The catch is who is allowed to go through that door. Often we have automatically decided against our own selves, when really the doors we seek might be unlocked.