The trial quickly approached. The posters announcing the date were posted everywhere. I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing it.
“The TRIAL of Doors” it read. Not a catchy title, but certainly accurate. “Time to choose your FUTURE!” That is what worried me. I had barely turned 18. How did I know what future I wanted? “Will YOU choose Comfort, Wealth, or Freedom?” No matter how much I stared at this white poster with bold black letters. I still did not know what to choose and the trial began tomorrow.
We had been taught about this choice we would make since beginning kindergarten. Each year, one week would be dedicated to the history and discussion of this Trial of Doors. Everyone went through it. There were no exemptions. Once you stepped through the door you could not change your mind, you had made your choice.
Hundreds of years ago, people fought for those three choices, for wealth, comfort, or freedom. So a group of world leaders came up with this trial. Choose once, receive your choice, and stop the fighting. It seems to have worked.
They teach us that walking through the door labeled Comfort leads to a comfortable, and if not easy, at least carefree life. Wealth gives money and power. Freedom promises neither, but it doesn’t exclude it either. Honestly, no one really knows what is behind Freedom because no one has ever walked through it.
Everyone chooses comfort or wealth. No one chooses freedom. There are no guarantees with freedom.
While we are taught that what we choose is behind the door we choose, there are no specifics. In fact, everyone is sworn to secrecy. That frustrates me. I prefer to know what I’m getting into, knowing all the information. Where do the wealth and comfort come from? What is behind each door? What should I choose?
The Trial of Doors
Quietly, I stand in alphabetical order with the other new adults. Soon we will each walk through a door into our chosen future. Most of my fellow newbies look excited. I can hear whispers exchanged about which door they will go through, comfort or wealth.
The adults that have already walked through the doors and made their decisions sit in the audience of the large stadium. The three doors with their labels wait at the front behind a podium. A few more minutes to wait until the first person decides.
The President of the World Trial Organization stands at the podium. Her voice booms from the speakers. Clearly, she explains the process. One person at a time will approach the door and walk through. Behind each door is a room and an escort. That escort will lead them to their chosen life. No exchanges, only one choice allowed. As she returns to her seat, a few men remove the podium, clearing the view to the three doors.
Anxiously, I watch the first person approach the doors. I remember her being in many plays at school, so I am not surprised when she walks through the door for wealth. After her I watch a few more people walk through comfort and then wealth.
Unsurprisingly, watching people walk through doors is boring. Being at the end of the line I have time, so I begin to watch the crowd. Nobody claps, or makes any noise of approval for each choice. Instead they just watch. Some look sad, while others look anxious. If I’m not mistaken, a few people are crying.
Confused, I keep watching the crowd, trying to piece together why everyone seems so upset at what is happening. Looking to the World Trial Board sitting near the doors, I notice a few members flinch each time a door closes.
Everyone always chooses Comfort or Wealth. The thought of having everything you want or need without work sounds so appealing. Freedom gives no guarantees, so it makes no sense to choose it. But what happens behind each door? How are they able to give comfort and wealth to everyone? Why had no one ever chosen Freedom?
I became so caught in my thoughts, I startled when I realized only two more people stood before me in line. One approaches comfort, then chooses wealth. The next heads straight through comfort. Now it is my turn.
Again, I glance around the crowd. More people openly cry. Slowly, I approach the doors. My questions swirl in my head and even though the choice is here I am still unsure.
Pausing, I take a deep breath, looking at each door. In my head, I review each choice. Finally, I decide.
Gasps echo around the auditorium as I reach for my chosen door. Whispers fill the air, but I ignore them. Holding my head high, I walk through the door marked Freedom.