My memory takes me several years back to a very cold night; somewhere in the central highlands, sandwiched between the eastern base of the Aberdare Range and the western slopes of Mount Kenya, my dorm mates and I stood outside the door to our dorm tightly hugging our books – not out of love but in an attempt to keep as warm as we could.
‘Who has the key and what’s taking them so long?’ was the question everyone kept asking, everyone except Alice.
After what seemed like an eternity, the dorm captain finally arrived and wondered why we were standing outside while she had given Alice the key to the dorm immediately after night time prep. It was then that Alice, the lanky and graceful games captain, flashing her signature soft smile, took a step forward, turned the handle and flung the door open. You should have heard the tirade that followed from all of us! From ‘why didn’t you tell us the door was unlocked all this time’ to ‘how could you keep us here suffering in the cold’.
‘By standing outside here to enjoy the night time breeze, I kept you here suffering?’
Our soft spoken games captain had unleashed a cheeky side of herself that had caught everyone by surprise. She had pranked us all big time, and got a kick out of it – but she had made her point. We all just came and dutifully waited and complained, assuming that the door was locked. No one had tried to turn the handle.
Fast forward many years later. Many people I met at my immediate former workplace wondered how I had got a work permit to work in a foreign country. They had been informed it was impossible to get a work permit. I had been told the same thing, but that did not stop me from searching and applying for suitable job opportunities and when I found one and got hired, I applied for a work permit and got it.
Alice’s prank taught me an important lesson; the door maybe shut or it may be locked, but that will not stop me from turning the handle or knocking until someone gets it, or until it becomes clear that I cannot go in, in which case I just move on to the next door. After all, as my mentor James Karundu says, ‘NO’ simply means ‘next opportunity!’
Are you standing or sitting somewhere, outside looking in or inside looking out, waiting for someone to unlock a certain door? Try turning the handle; you might be surprised that the door has been unlocked all this time. If that does not work, knock and if that does not work either, check within yourself – you might just be in possession of the key to that very door!
Have a reflective day dear friend.
Tags: #lifelessons, #pauseandponder, #reflections