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Gilbert Ramos: Holding the Door

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The smallest acts can have the deepest impacts. Here’s a Perspective from Gilbert Ramos.

We make eye contact walking towards the door of a building.

I walk a little faster than you, that is not the question.

Of course, I’ll grab and open the door first.

But here lies the better question, will I hold the door open for you?


Sorry, should I hold the door for you?

Wait am I supposed to the hold the door for you?

By some form of primal instinct, I know I will be the one to hold it open, for you, the person behind you, and the little old lady that just parked and is going to take a few minutes to get to the door, but no worries, I’m not in a rush.

Being the first born in a family with 6 children, I tended to pick up responsibilities at an early age. Let’s throw in a single mother into the equation and no consistent symbol of a father figure around. As I grew up, every year I moved from house to house, school to school, old friends to new friends. This created a strong sense of instability within me, that I did not even notice until I was plenty too old to say anything about it.

Who would have thought this child would grow up to have a strong trait of people pleasing. I want to be liked, I want to be enjoyed, I want to be loved.

It would take years of self-reflection to understand where these habits stem from and why I choose to be obligated to perform a charitable yet, effortless action. Years and forms of physical and mental abuse will mold a feeling of insecurity and low self-respect. If I don’t hold the door open for the world, the world will not even hold the door open for me.

Life has taught me not to trust everyone and everything. Not everything that glitters is gold. I carry a heavy cross of negativity due to the traumas I’ve been through. I don’t expect for you to hold the door open for me. You’re going to hold the door open for yourself because that’s how the world runs.

But instead, you actually grab the door first, our eyes meet and then suddenly a smile below. “You first,” are the words I hear coming from your lips. My faith in the world is restored for another day and I return the favor with a “Thank you.”

With a Perspective, I’m Gilbert Ramos.

Gilbert Ramos is born and raised in the Bay Area. He currently lives in San Francisco and is studying Communications and Marketing at a local university. He enjoys spending much of his time playing music, going for runs and hikes, and seeing live music of all sizes (small shows to large music festivals).

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