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"Holding the Door" for Others, Wherever You Can

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

You're already in, and there's someone behind you. What's the use in slamming the door in their face? Maybe you're in a hurry and can't be bothered to go out of your way to hold the door. But, often, in our haste to excel at life, we treat others like pebbles in our paths - to be kicked out of our way for convenience. And I don't need to tell you how wrong that is. Because, often, even when we don't mean to, being a person who holds space for others to flourish is important. Life can sometimes feel like a race, but it's crucial to remember that true success is incomplete without lifting others along the way. The joy and fulfillment from holding the door open for others are often far more rewarding than any height we may reach in solitude.

Holding the door for someone conveys a profound sense of selflessness and care, which goes beyond the act of holding a physical door open. It's about creating safe space for others, accommodating their ideas and opinions, fears, and aspirations, and giving them the chance to express themselves.

Consider this: holding the door open for someone today might inspire them to do the same for someone else tomorrow, creating a ripple of kindness. You didn't grow up self-assured from nowhere: your parents, teachers, and others did something right to ensure your self-esteem remained intact. Your environment was kind to you, celebrated your successes, minimized the impact of your failures, taught you to respect and honor yourself. These factors helped shape the confident individual you are today, and now it is time to "pay it forward."

"Paying It Forward" is a concept popularized by the 2000 movie of the same name. Based on a novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde, the movie introduces the inspiring idea of doing a good deed for others without expecting anything in return.

In the movie, a young boy named Trevor, played by Haley Joel Osment, comes up with the innovative 'Pay It Forward' system for a school assignment. The plan is simple, yet revolutionary: instead of paying someone back for a good deed, you "pay it forward" by doing good deeds for three new people. Trevor's only condition is that each of these three individuals must then pay it forward, thus initiating a chain of kindness.

This concept – that simple acts of kindness can ripple out to others, initiating an ever-expanding sphere of generosity and positive action – is central to the movie's message. Trevor 'holds the door' open for others through his acts of kindness, encouraging others to do the same.

The 'Pay It Forward' movement has since gained traction in the real world, sparking acts of kindness and charity around the globe. Many initiatives and organizations now operate on this principle, standing testament to the belief that everyone can make a difference, no matter how small their actions. It illustrates how each one of us can 'hold the door' for others, driving meaningful change in our communities and the world.

In the seventh chapter of my book, "A Bold Presence," I discuss the importance of being mindful of those who aren't as confident in themselves. We must make allowances for such individuals, give them room to express themselves, and handle them gently until they have managed to overcome their lack of self-esteem. It's a collective responsibility to do so. One of the reasons individuals with high self-esteem are often disliked is because many people struggle to muster that quality within themselves. They often resent seeing it in others and think, "why not us?". Which is why we need to help each other cultivate this quality. If you feel on top of the world and everyone around you is miserable, then what's the point?

Holding the door open provides others with the chance to explore realms of opportunity, shed their inhibitions, and step out of their self-imposed boundaries. It's a recognition that we're all interconnected, and everyone has their own battles to fight. When we hold the door open, we acknowledge these struggles and offer our assistance.

So the next time the people around you need you to pause for a second to make sure they enter into the room safely, do not hesitate, for a single ship does not a fleet make.


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