“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”
- Alexander Graham Bell
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one, which has been opened for us.”
- Helen Keller
My cousin's girlfriend had an interview for an out of state job last weekend. No one wants her to move, but we all know she's unhappy in her current position. We were all feeling a mixture of emotions this week, but it turns out she didn't get it. I was talking to my cousin about it on Friday when that old saying above floated into my head. I said something like, "Maybe when one door closes, another one opens, but I don't really think so."
Certainly, there are times when a better opportunity is found because you weren't stuck in something else, but there's no evidence of cosmic balance. The universe doesn't try to right wrongs so everyone ends up in a better place. If that was the case, no one would starve to death, or die from lack of medical care. There are a million examples of people getting the short end of the stick and never getting another open door. It's just something to say when we don't know what to say.
And as I said it, I wondered if that was a really stupid thing to say. Why even bother right? But she really appreciated my being honest. She told me she was getting really sick of people playing down the bad things that happen in life with little sayings that don't mean anything. There's a possibility that nothing better will come along, at least for a very long time, maybe never. Being honest about it was more comforting than a cliche. I don't think it's true that people always need a light at the end of a tunnel. I also don't think that makes life any less worth living. Sometimes, it makes things better.