“When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so longingly and so regretfully upon the door that closed, that we fail to see the one that has opened for us.”
Helen Keller wrote these words. She understood life’s closed door. In spite of incredibly difficult circumstances, she found life’s open door. What she could not see with her eyes, she learned to see with her incredible mind and heart.
The closed door is a character moment for a youngster: The door closes when you don t make the first team on the athletic field; it closes when someone important in your life let’s you down; it slams in your face when you want a different skill set than the one you have. The closed door is about disappointment and unfulfilled expectations.
I had a high school friend who wanted to become a dentist. He failed multiple times attempting to enter dental school. Each failure was a closed door that led him in a new direction toward his professional goal. Ultimately, he used his multiple closed doors to direct him to the right professional school. He became an extraordinary dentist and mentor to many kids.
Sometimes the closed door is permanent, unalterable. Helen Keller’s closed door was blindness. But her life reveals that she used her blindness to maximize the senses and sensibilities that she did have. Surely, her blindness was a physical handicap. But, she did not allow her closed door to blind her to opportunities to see life fully. She opened new doors.
Yes, life’s closed door moments are not meant for destruction. When they occur, a child or teen needs someone in their life who encourages them to move the focus of their attention in a new direction.
Keller’s life history reveals that she had a mentor who guided her past the closed door. Kids do need the character mentoring of a parent, grandparent, teacher or coach to help re-focus their attention. The mentor who understands how to guide a youngster past the closed door offers an incredible gift to a child or teen’s life.
– Russell Williams