Closed Doors

Have you ever experienced a closed door? Did you wonder what’s behind the door and why it is closed? What did you do?

A Door is an opening to a thing or place. It gives you entrance to that thing or place to walk through and into it and fulfill a desire or a mission. A simple example is a car door; you have to open it to get into your car to drive to a place you intend to go, like a grocery store to purchase groceries. From your groceries, you either stock up on items and or prepare a meal. Similarly, think of your home’s doors and especially the main entrance doors. You and those you grant access to have to walk through it into your home. But you and them can’t except you open the doors.

A door is any means of admittance, access, or gateway. You can open and close a door.

You can open it to give access to yourself or whoever you choose to allow in. You can also close a door to keep intruders out. With the car door example, you have to lock it up when not in use or it’s parked anywhere outside your home to help prevent break in or deny access to some unauthorized person from driving off with it.

Metaphorically, an open door symbolizes a new opportunity, beginning, or new season, while a closed door symbolizes the end of a thing, season, or project. It could be anything or anyone from a relationship, to buying a car or home, even renting a place, a job, business, or that person whom you want to marry or are married to. It could also mean that someone or something is blocking one’s entrance to a profitable or fulfilling business or opportunity.

A Closed Door symbolizes denial of admittance, access, and bars unauthorized entry. It’s restrictive, private, exclusionary, and symbolizes rejection. We’ve all heard of closed door meetings. At work, some job opportunities are also tagged “closed promotional.”

A door can be closed by:

  1. you,
  2. the enemy, or
  3. God.

If You Closed the Door

You can close a door on yourself either because of uncertainty, impatience, immaturity, or ignorance. You can also close a door as a result of a bad or negative attitude or habit such as laziness or procrastination. Once you realize your folly or mistake, repent and simply open it back. How you open it back depend on what the door symbolizes for you. Straight up admitting your ignorance or mistake is key. Sometimes tact is necessary.

When The Enemy Closed the Door

I need to clarify here that we do not go about looking for the enemy, but scripture tells us that “the enemy is busy roaming around looking for whom it may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). May it not be any of us. We’d be naive to think that just because we walk uprightly and love everyone, we’ll get same back. Doing so assures us that the enemy’s attacks will not prevail but … another post for another day. Segue into the topic …

When the enemy closes a door on one, I have realized that many people are unaware. They are however aware that the closure does not make sense. And they give up easily and move on when they should bombard heaven (my alternate way of saying “earnestly pray”). Ask yourself “what’s behind the door and why is it closed?” and pray concerning it. Often the enemy is trying to prevent one from starting on a new season or beginning that’s full of promises. Walking away, giving up out of frustration would mean that the enemy won. Don’t give up easily my friend. Pray. Pray. Pray. When the enemy shuts a door, praying and fasting will often re-open the door.

When God Closes the Door

However, when a door is closed by God, there’s nothing one can do to open it; no knocking, banging, kicking, crying, praying, nor fasting will cause the door to fling or slightly open. This is the main difference that let you know that the closure is of God. You simply submit the closed door to Him. However, many stay put and continue to knock, bang, yell, and kick. I have observed many folks doing the reverse of what they ought to do when the enemy or God closes a door.

Surely there’s a reason when God closes a door. Because He knows the end from the beginning, God already knows that your walking through the door will not be beneficial for you in the long run though it seems good to you momentarily. He also knows that it does not align with the plans He has for you, a knowing that you are oblivious of but will become obvious sooner or later.

So what do you do

When you experience a closed door

  1. First pray to identify who closed the door
  2. Once identified, follow the actions laid out above; that is, if the closure was by you, repent and open it; if it’s the enemy, pray and if necessary fast to get the door to reopen; if God closed the doir, surrender it to Him and ask Him to reveal what He has for you instead
  3. Forget the closed door if you’ve done all that you know to do, Another door (opportunity) will open unto you sooner.

I, like many, have experienced many open and closed doors over the years. Most doors open to us of their own accord despite ourselves. For example, my first job out of college was with a company I really wasn’t “looking for” but was a company that gave me the strong foundation that I needed for my career. At the same time, the company that I desperately wanted to work for rejected me. I prepared hard for the interview but was turned down after the second interview. I have also wept over a few closed doors but in retrospect was glad the doors remained closed despite my insistence and prayers. Unfortunately, yet there are closed doors we might not understand why – those are simply God’s sovereignty.

What, if any, closed door have you experienced? How did you handle it?

5 Tests of a Leader – Dr. Stephen R. Graves

5 Tests of a Leader – Dr. Stephen R. Graves
— Read on stephenrgraves.com/articles/read/5-tests-of-a-leader-2/

The Heart

Our hearts are tender and should always be kept pure at all times. If not, things such as greed, lust, bitterness, un-forgiveness, resentment, etc. could clog it up and turn us into a contemptuous cynical being that no-one wants to be around. This list also includes the “unhealthy” independence. I’m beginning to accept that being independent is a trait that demonstrates that one loves to roll (or fly) solo and does not need anyone. It is also a false sense of independence. A blog for another day.

Dr. Graves has something to say not only about the unhealthy independence, but also the storms (or tests) of our hearts.

The tender heart can grow cold and callous if left untended. We need to do a regular healthy check. “Search me oh God and see if there be any iniquity in me” (Psalm 51)

I love to receive Dr. Steve Graves’s articles and read how he “weaves themes of strategy, leadership and faith together.” I’ve shared couple or more of his articles previously. In this article, Dr. Graves asks five questions based on the heart:

  1. Where can you give this week and what can you give away?
  1. Where do you need to flee today?
  1. Who do you need to forgive this week?    
  1. Are you suffering from unhealthy independence?
  1. Where do you need to share credit?

I could do away with the unhealthy independence which, for the longest time, I didn’t see as unhealthy prior to now. You know, you cultivate the attitude of not wanting to bother anyone if that was all you heard as a child. Now I know better and have to be intentional about asking for help.

Your turn. Which of the questions resonate with you. I hope you love the article.

Philosophical Tuesday: Morals and Morality

Morals. Morality. Social Morals. Moral Compass. We’ve all heard it. But what exactly does it mean and are we all morally conscious and/or (socially) morally obligated to one another. Why or why not?

Seems as if the world is divided when it comes to certain topics, issues, and/or values. We all don’t agree on simple things. One of such things is the issue of morals. I’m not here to judge (aka moral judgment) anyone. Which is also one of the problems. Because the issue of morals/morality is often met with defiant responses/statements such as “you’re judging me” or “don’t judge me.” Such responsories make it difficult for sincere interventions such that no one wants to touch it – let sleeping dogs lie! But I believe that we are socially responsible to one another or that we ought to be and such conversations are necessary.

Morals and ethics sometimes are interchangeably used. As the above definitions state, it is mainly about the right conduct. But could the right conduct of one person be a wrong to another? Or is there a unanimous agreement that right is right and wrong is wrong? Let’s ponder on that.

We need to understand and agree on what morals (and morality) are before moving forward.

. . .

Once agreed, the next question will be “are we born with a moral compass or does life and environment dictate it?

. . .

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) states that morality can be descriptive or normative. Morals also relate to both an individual and the society.

“Descriptive morality refer to certain codes of conduct put forward by a society or a group (such as a religion), or accepted by an individual for her own behavior. When “morality” is used simply to refer to a code of conduct put forward by an actual group, including a society, even if it is distinguished from etiquette, law, and religion, it is being used in a descriptive sense. It is also being used in the descriptive sense when it refers to important attitudes of individuals. Just as one can refer to the morality of the Greeks, so one can refer to the morality of a particular person.”

Normative morality however refers to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational people; it takes on the form of avoiding and preventing harm and “holds that morality is (or would be) the behavioral code that meets the following condition: all rational persons, under certain specified conditions, would endorse it.

In addition, there are several views of morality: the relativist, naturalist, consequentialist, utilitarians, and more. Read it all in the SEP.

. . .

Final thoughts

Morals, as you can see, is not so straightforward. “Confusion about the content of morality sometimes arises because morality is not distinguished sufficiently from religion.”

What are your thoughts on this post? What does morals / morality mean to you? Are you one to take a stand for morals or not? What do you think about the various views of morality?

Thanks for reading – to be continued next week.

Being Reasonable

“In everyday life, we ask each other to be reasonable, and we fault unreasonable behavior in ourselves and others. Moreover, the Anglo-American legal system makes extensive use of the “reasonable person standard” in everything from negligence to administrative law. What is it to be a reasonable person? What do we mean by “reasonable”?”

. . .

The above is a brief course description of the class, “Being Reasonable.” I have always wanted to take classes in Philosophy to satisfy my learning curiosity/developments. I came across the course description while researching colleges. It’s being taught at one of America’s top colleges. I would love to take the class at the college, but I thought to share the course title and description which I think are interesting.

Philosophy is deep and involves lots of independence of the mind. Just look at the list of philosophical schools of thoughts. I do not need a degree in Philosophy so I will not avail myself of all the schools of thoughts. However, I think it interesting to know that tons of our rationales and beliefs are philosophically-based.

What does “Reasonable” Mean?

We start with the Dictionary’s definition:

Next, according to Vocabulary.com, “If you’re reasonable, you have good sense and judgment. A reasonable decision is rational and thought out, like your mom’s reasonable rule about not eating crumbly foods in her car. When you describe a store’s prices as reasonable, you mean they’re fair — not too high. And if you are given a reasonable amount of time to do a project for school, you have no excuse for it being late.”

As the course description stated, there’s the “reasonable person standard,” in law. According to Cornell University’s Department of Law, it means:

“Just, rational, appropriate, ordinary, or usual in the circumstances. It may refer to care, cause, compensation, doubt (in a criminal trial), and a host of other actions or activities. In the law of negligence, for example, the reasonable person standard is the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would observe under a given set of circumstances. An individual who subscribes to such standards can avoid liability for negligence.”

I have provided two links for your reading pleasure; one from a philosophical view and the other from an actuarial view.

Conclusion

There is actually no conclusion to reasonability or being reasonable. As you can see, being reasonable depends on the hat one is wearing at the point the statement is made. Since each industry views “reasonable” from its own perspective, is it safe to say that we all will have varied thoughts and views for what we consider as Being Reasonable?

What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below. Thanks.

Attitude towards Yourself

Credits: Valentina Conde / Unsplash

Attitude. Attitude. Attitude. We’ve all heard the saying that attitude is everything. It is your attitude that will determine your altitude. Attitude is the equalizer; it’s what makes one or breaks one.

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.”

William James, Harvard University

What is Attitude?

The best definition of Attitude that I found is from Myers’ Social Psychology where Attitude is defined as “a favorable or unfavorable evaluative reaction toward something or someone, exhibited in ones beliefs, feelings, or intended behavior. It is a social orientation – an underlying inclination to respond to something either favorably or unfavorably.”

Attitude towards Yourself

Attitude towards others is one thing, but I believe that our attitude towards ourselves are more important than those towards others. I also believe that there is a direct correlation in one’s attitude towards others and self. If you treat yourself better, you will undoubtedly treat others like you do yourself.

Attitude towards yourself:

  1. can be positive, negative, and/or neutral towards an “attitude object” (a person, behaviour or event).”
  2. is intangible, but the effects are tangible.
  3. is directly inferred and observable. So is the effects of attitude be it positive, negative, or neutral.
  4. is both implicit and explicit.

Attitude towards ourselves determine our attitude toward the world. If you believe that you can, guess what, you will. On the contrary, if you believe that you can’t, guess what, you will not. We shape our own lives and the shapes of them will be determined by our attitudes. For example, a person with a poor attitude towards learning, isn’t going to learn much until he or she changes his or her attitude.

. . .

We’re so familiar with ourselves we tend to take ourselves for granted and we tend to minimize the things we can accomplish, or the goals we can reach, and for some equally strange reason believe that others can accomplish things in our field which we cannot. There are literally millions of human beings living narrow, darkened, frustrated, and defensive lives simply because they take offensive and doubtful attitude towards themselves and as a result towards life in general.

Attitude is a reflection; a result of a person’s will. It is incalculably powerful. It can bring about marvelous results for us but we need to train it patiently day-by-day.

Let’s talk about the attitudes of successful people. The top 5% of people go sailing through life from one success to another and, even when they fail at something, shrug it off and head right out again. No matter who the person is or what he/she does, wherever you find a person doing an outstanding job and getting outstanding results, you will find a person with the right kind of attitude. These people take the attitude towards themselves that they can accomplish what they set out to accomplish. There’s no good reason on earth why they can’t be competent or successful. They have a healthy attitude towards themselves and, as a result, towards life and the things they want to accomplish. And because of this they achieve some remarkable things and they come to be successful, outstanding, brilliant, lucky, and a lot of other things. They’re quite frequently no more brilliant or outstanding than the majority of the people by whom they are surrounded but they did develop the right attitude and they found their accomplishments not too difficult and, many times, surprisingly easy simply because it seems that so few are really trying and really believing in themselves.

Successful people come in all shapes and sizes and in widely varying degrees of intelligence background and so on. But they all have one thing in common:

  1. they expect more good out of life than bad;
  2. they expect to succeed more than they fail;
  3. they radiate confidence assurance;
  4. they have about them the attitude of success in their walk, talk, and even dressing.

. . .

If you think you have a bad or negative attitude, you’re probably right. But choose to change it today. The distance between the negative attitude and positive is the amount it took you to read this sentence. Your intentional decision to change. Start today. Start now so you can reap the benefits of the best positive attitude towards yourself tomorrow.

What is Philosophy? |

What is Philosophy? | Department of Philosophy
— Read on philosophy.fsu.edu/undergraduate-study/why-philosophy/What-is-Philosophy

. . .

According to the above from the Florida State University, Philosophy is the “love of wisdom.” However, do you know that there are three types of Wisdom?

The 3 Types of Wisdom

  1. Man’s Wisdom is the kind of “intelligence” that people exhibit among each other often stemming from one’s acclaimed superiority as a result of knowledge, wealth, academic degrees, or “big” house, car, or what-have-you that’s mistaken for wisdom.
  2. Devilish Wisdom. This is the kind of craftiness that is sensual and earthly (according to the Bible) where one person tries to outsmart another in various ways, resulting in mischief, wickedness, and sometimes violence.
  3. Godly Wisdom is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17 KJV). Godly Wisdom is unsurpassable by any human intelligence.

. . .

Now that you know, in your search for Wisdom, be mindful of the type that you are noted for.