Why Opening Doors for Strangers Matters…
by Monica Guerrero
After bawling my eyes out in the post office parking lot over a door opening incident, I thought it important to take a look at the deeper meaning of this small but powerful act.
The interaction wasn’t as elegant as one might imagine, actually, it was quite awkward at first. My fellow shipper and I arrived at the door simultaneously both reaching for the door, both loaded up with packages and equally in need of having a door opened for us. We scrambled to shift our parcels and grabbed at the door at the same time, we then re-shifted in order to prepare for receiving a door opening. After a few times of doing this we laughed at our fumbling and one of us acquiesced. The two of us waited in line together, a shared bond and smile of contentment on our faces over the interaction.
It wasn’t until I was sitting in the car outside that the emotions came flooding in. I began reflecting upon past door openings and the deeper meanings behind these interactions … the tears began to roll.
As an independent and liberated woman I had once thought of door opening as an opportunity to share my stance. To make the statement that I reject the outdated traditions where women are beholden to men to pump their gas, open their doors and even bring in the higher paycheck. That thought had me racing to the door on more than a few occasions.
It wasn’t until years later that I discovered maturity and realized that the door didn’t always revolve around me. I realized that the act of allowing someone else to open the door for me was just as important an act as my choice to open the door for another.
I began to allow myself to be let in by older gentlemen with callous covered hands, struggling with every ounce of their might to live up to the ideals that they had been taught as children. Rather than ranting in my mind about outdated notions and a weaker sex, I began to seek to understand other’s perspectives. It wasn’t until I dropped my ego filled stories that I was able to appreciate the true kindness behind this gesture.
I watch my sister do her best as a hard-working mother. I so deeply admire how she still takes the time to teach her boys how to treat others with reverence. When I hear my nephews say please and thank you it fills me with hope. It makes me grateful for all the parents out there that aren’t simply making demands upon our world but are actively raising conscious living people. Some day in the future one of my Nephews might be the older gentleman who opens the door for a woman like me honoring the memory of my sister with every step.
I love how the simple act of opening the door for another can break down stereotypes as a seemingly hard-core tattoo covered biker extends his hand to open the door for a frail elderly woman. I will never forget the joy of witnessing a little girl with down syndrome grinning from ear to ear as she held the door open for every person that walked through the entire time her mother was in the post office. As each person thanked her, her grin grew wider. I will do my best to remember this girl when I hold the door open for someone who saunters through without acknowledgement like the queen of Sheba… remember Monica, bring it back to self… back to clarity.
I think beyond the physical door openings to how many people have taken the time to open doors of employment, doors of friendship, doors to a different perspective for me. I think about how one good opening deserves another and how today I spend a great deal of my time opening doors for others. I have a very love filled life and that love grows each and every moment I choose to recognize the joy…the tears streaming down your face in the parking lot kind of joy… that comes after allowing myself to be opened.
“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the Doors.” ~Jim Morrison.
Monica Guerrero Aka Monica Today – is an Award Winning Mixed media artist, Cosmetologist, Muralist, singer and songwriter. She has worked in a large variety of mediums as a sculptor, fashion designer and in the film industry in Southern California doing casting, mold making and finishing. She has been awarded Best of show for her Doll art and has shared her knowledge with others through classes, lectures and through her talk radio show: Inspiring People Radio.com