I have spent a great deal of time on subways in my recent travels.
At each stop, an electronic voice warns for "Caution: the doors are about to close."
I could not help but reflect upon how useful such a voiced warning would be for life.
"Caution: the doors are about to close."
What if you heard that every time you were about to lose an opportunity?
"Who seeks, and will not take when once 'tis offer'd,
Shall never find it more." --William Shakespeare
You were a genius, Bill, but I sure hope you got it wrong on that one.
I told this "closing door" theory to a fellow professor of mine. He lost his mother recently. Had he heard "Caution: the doors are about to close" in the days leading up to her death, he might've been able to get there and say goodbye. What if we got that warning anytime someone was about to leave life for good? What if you knew beyond certainty that you had an opportunity to see a favorite perform and it would be for the last time? Or when you're working on a project or in a situation where you're about to push things a bit too far?
What if we received that notice whenever any relationship was about to come to an end?
"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you left them." --Andy Bernard
The intuitive among us may know better. They see and feel things that the rest of us don't. Maybe that voice actually does enter their minds. "Caution: the doors are about to close." Maybe it's the artistic impulse that urges them to act, an instinct I've grown accustomed to shunting or sidelining.
"I think of few heroic actions, which cannot be traced to the artistical impulse. He who does great deeds, does them from his innate sensitiveness to moral beauty." --Walt Whitman
Again, the mote just here is "opportunity" and that may be defined in any personal or professional manner one chooses. Just try to know it when you see it.
That's the real trick, eh?
I suppose my blog posts should come with their own warnings. "Caution: philosophical meanderings ahead."
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