Don’t slam the door behind you

BY: Kobina Ansah's Shrine

As life goes on, new opportunities come. Definitely, we will run into new doors. We will get to know new people and places. 

Time will expose us to better offers in life. The thing is, as new doors open, you don’t slam the old ones behind you. Gently close them.
You don’t call an old door “dark” just because a supposedly better one opened for you. When we speak ill of our old doors, remember we are not any less ill either because… we once enjoyed it.

You don’t rudely walk out on people who were there for you yesterday because you are exposed to somewhat better people today. When a home shelters you today, you don’t call it a slum tomorrow.

If you seemingly have outgrown your small local church, don’t go calling it a hen coop!
New opportunities shouldn’t make us ungrateful. No matter how squeaky an old door was, you always must be grateful for it.

It gave you a chance when no one else was ready to. At least, it accommodated you in its space. When you supposedly see the light, move on… but not on a sour note.
Don’t call the hand that fed you yesterday leprous because you found a better one today. Just because you have been exposed to different shades of women doesn’t make your ‘old’ wife a bag of waste. Hello!

You don’t leave your past on an ungrateful note just because you assume you won’t return to it anymore, after all.
You don’t bang a small door behind you because a big one has been opened for you and you have no intentions whatsoever to use this small door again. If an opportunity becomes useless to you, honourably walk off. Don’t violently trample on it!

Back in high school (POJOSS), I had a senior I was very close to; more or less like a “school father”. We both shared almost everything. The trust and respect we had for each other was quite enviable.

When it was due for him to write his final exams, he asked that I lent him some money (quite huge back then) because he hadn’t paid his fees in full, thus, wouldn’t be allowed to write. He promised to pay back just the following month when his dad abroad remitted him.

I was willing to help. After all, I knew he would not renege on his promise. With a gladdened heart, I did his bidding. Weeks passed. The next thing I heard about him was that he had finished his papers, packed out of his dormitory and left for home… for good!

I was astounded. That was a quick one. I wondered how and why he would want to return a friend’s kindness with such tons of ingratitude. I really felt disappointed, especially when I knew our paths would never cross again.

Well, years passed. I was in my third year in the University of Ghana about five years later. We had gone ahead of other continuing students to help welcome fresh men and women, as had been the tradition, so they could be ‘recruited’ into our individual campus churches.
Guess what. To my utter amazement, here was my good old friend― a first year student! This life! We stood looking into each other’s eyes for minutes… speechlessly.

As he continued standing there stupefied and gawking at me, I smiled, “Never slam the door behind you!”
Many times in life, we get so excited about the future that we give no hoot about our past. We get a new job and all of a sudden, our old employer who had been the source of our daily bread all this while… becomes the devil’s cousin.

We find a new lady or gentleman we love and we soon perceive our old friends as evil just because they asked us to be cautious.
Don’t mar old relationships. If you think you have outgrown them, gently walk off. Don’t go badmouthing them because you found a new, better opportunity. Someday, you may somewhat need those old relationships.

When new opportunities rear their heads, embrace them. However, don’t slam the door in the face of those who gave you the ‘old’ opportunity. Don’t spit in the face of a small opportunity because a big one came.
You may one day need the help of that same small opportunity to climb to an even bigger one. Don’t shoot yourself in the foot!

How you exit old opportunities really matters a lot. Don’t set them aflame because of a new one. Some opportunities are like a mirage. They look real from a distance but fake as you get closer.

Don’t burn bridges. You sometimes may need to walk back on them to fetch something in your past which you may badly need in your future. Don’t slam the door behind you. You may need to go through it once again to get to where you have always dreamt to be.

If you want to leave a relationship/marriage, leave on a good note. Don’t go dragging your ex’s family in the mud. You may one day need their recommendation when a new partner comes. Some people are still struggling to find partners today because of scars they left in their last relationship.
If you want to quit your job, do so honourably, whatever regardless. Don’t disrespect your employer because you had a better opportunity elsewhere.

Don’t go breathing hell on them just because a new opportunity popped up. They may be called on to verify your character or competence one day when something even bigger comes your way.
Never slam the door behind you. Be grateful for old doors. Be thankful for new doors.

The writer is a playwright and Chief Scribe of Scribe Communications (www.scribecommltd.com), a writing company based in Accra. His upcoming play is TRIBELESS.