Truisms to Live By: Closing the Gate Behind You EVERY TIME

In my ongoing struggle to become a better person, I’m distilling my beliefs into bite-sized, easily-digestible tenets that apply to multiple situations.  Today I’ll be talking about “Closing the gate behind you EVERY TIME.”

Gates are multi-purpose structures.  In conjunction with a fence, they can contain something, or keep something out.  They can be menacing (gates to a prison yard) or whimsical (grape arbor with a gate), practical and functional (like a ‘cattle guard’ which is a grate built of large diameter pipes spaced just far enough apart to prevent cattle from walking across–but will allow trucks and cars to traverse without problems) , or decorative (white picket fence).

Gates can be inconvenient.  Try opening a gate with two leashed dogs and a bag of groceries in hand–contrary to some manufacturers’ descriptions, I don’t believe there really ARE any true “one-handed” gates, because you’re usually using both your hands.  When fencing companies find a “no-handed” gate, that will be a breakthrough.

And if you’re bringing animals in from pasture, it’s tiresome to know that you’ll have to open (and CLOSE)  that same gate eight more times…now seven more times…now six…but it’s an unspoken guarantee that the one time you pull the gate shut without latching it, the rest of the animals in paddock will FIND that loose gate and will escape.  They’ll scatter like chaff in the winds–and they’ll be just as hard to recapture.

But no matter what purpose a gate serves, it is always considerate and mannerly to close and latch it behind you, not to mention that it can help avoid inconvenience (at best) or catastrophe (at worst).  Closing a gate behind you is much easier than trying to recapture cattle or sheep that have escaped and are running rampant.  It’s also much easier to close a gate behind you than it is to pick a broken dog up off the pavement and rush it to the veterinarian’s office to try to save its life.

And closing a gate can prevent the rabbits from getting in to your garden and eating the tops off all the carrots…or stopping the dogs from raiding the tomato plants.

Then there’s the metaphorical meaning of gates.  “Closing a gate” can be symbolic, it can mean following procedure, doing something correctly and not taking short cuts simply for the sake of convenience.

If there’s a gate, there’s a reason for that gate in that particular place, so use it properly.  Thank you from all the people who have gates!

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