7. Work

¦and here comes in the faith that I have in Joyous Gard. I believe that day by day we should clear a space to live with minds that have felt, and hoped, and enjoyed. That is the first duty of all; and then that we should live in touch with the natural beauty of the earth, and let the sweetness of it enter into our minds and hearts; for then we come out renewed, to find the beauty and the fulness of life in the hearts and minds of those about us.


           — Work, Joyous Gard, Aurthur Benson


My college roommate and I were, and still are, great friends. We had a lot of fun at the University of Georgia, though sometimes we did have to study. I’ll be first to admit that I was more inclined toward the “fun” part of school, and I really didn’t like hanging around the studious type.

It was our senior year that my roommate decided to ramp up his studying a notch; he planned on attending graduate school in order to earn his Masters degree. I thought that was a fine ambition, but certainly unlike mine. I was eager to just graduate and go to work.

During that year it became my roommate’s habit that following class he would go to his room, close the door and begin studying. I didn’t understand the “closed door” policy. After all, it was just the two of us in the duplex. Why shut the door?


To express my disfavor with that annoying habit, I waited until he was in class one day and enlisted the help of my neighboring friends to unhinge the door and take it to their duplex. We hid it under a bed or in a closet and waited for my roommate to come home that afternoon.


As usual, he went to his room, put his books down, and immediately noticed the absence of that precious door. Oh, it was a priceless moment to see the look on his face. Of course, he instantly figured out what had happened and began inquiring about the door. For a while I played dumb. But eventually I gave him back the door. And while it didn’t completely break him of the habit, I don’t think he ever closed that door without thinking about that day. 


Days 7-9 Guide


Today, keep your doors open. Make yourself available to friends or family who want nothing more than to enjoy your company. And don’t give up on those who’ve shut the door on you. Keep knocking, and be prepared to unhinge a door if necessary.


This is the last in the “Behavior Toward” series of the Joyous Gard Cycle of Days. On Monday we’ll start our move to “Higher Things.”


The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.

          — Flora Whittemore


© 2005, Levi Hill

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