Monday, August 15, 2016

Two Doors

Two doors, one purple and one white, stood side-by-side high above the ground.  A large crowd of thousands gathered beneath the purple door, tirelessly building a staircase to reach it.  A much smaller group worked beneath the white door, resulting in a far smaller set of stairs.

A man approached.  As he did, the foreman in charge guided him toward the purple side.  “Step or strut?”

“Pardon?”

“Step or strut?”  The foreman pointed toward the purple door.  “We’re building steps to reach this door.  We need more help to meet our deadline.  Would you like to build a step or a strut?”

The man looked to the white staircase.  “What about them?” he asked, gesturing toward the few struggling workers.  “Don’t they need help?”

“Don’t be silly,” the foreman said.  “Look at our progress.  We’re on track to finish our staircase on time.  The white staircase will never be finished.  Your help would make no difference.  You’d be wasting your energy.”

The man’s eyes returned to the doors. The purple door was slightly open, giving a glimpse to the other side.  Even from far beneath the frame, he could already see what awaited them:  Anger, bigotry, oppression, failure, despair, hatred, and violence.

The white door, however, remained closed.  “What’s behind the white door?”

“No one knows,” the foreman said.  “And no one cares.”

“Why not?”

The foreman was beginning to get impatient.  “Because it doesn’t matter.  Like I said, the white stairs will never be finished.  Now, step or strut?”

The man looked at the materials scattered on the ground.  “What’s the difference?”

A passerby carrying a step chimed in.  “Oh, you definitely want a step.  Built for progress.  Can’t get anywhere without them!”

Another called from the crowd.  “But without the struts, the steps will fall!  Support struts are far more important!”

Again, the man’s eyes turned to the purple door.  Something that sounded like screams and gunfire drifted through the opening.  “What if I don’t want to?” he asked the foreman.  “What if I don’t want to go through the purple door? Why should I help you?”

“Stop being difficult and just pick one,” the foreman replied.  “There aren’t any other options.”

Again, the man pointed to the white door.  “But there are!  The white door is another option!”

“Forget about the white door!” the foreman shouted, forcefully turning the man’s head to the purple side.

“But if we all worked together, we could build the steps we need to get there!”

Disgusted, the foreman threw up his hands and backed away.  “Fine, go to the white side, then.  But when we reach the purple door, we’re dragging you and the rest of your friends with us.”

“Not if we finish first,” the man said defiantly.  “What’s our deadline?”

The foreman ground his teeth as he walked away.  “November 8th.”