Build Your BridgesAuthor: Catherine Pulsifer
Have you ever crossed a bridge to get to the other side? I am sure you have. Everyone has probably crossed, in some cases, hundreds of bridges without giving it a thought. Some bridges, like the old covered bridges so notable in the Maritimes and parts of the northern United States to this day, provided the link to unite people that previously only encountered physical barriers.
Will These Ever Be Built?
There are also a number of bridges that have yet to be built. Some of these bridges will be more difficult than others, and some may never be built at all. These bridges will require a major investment, some at great risk.
The bridges I am referring to are those kind of bridges that need to be built between two people who have either not talked in years because of past differences like some family members, or those bridges that need to be re-established because they have collapsed from neglect.
A Bridge Demolished
Harry and Sam (not their real names) were such a case of a bridge decayed from neglect. These were two brothers who once were very close as they grew up through their early years. They always did similar things, had the same friends, and participated in the same sports. But, as they grew into to adult years, each went on their own way to different parts of the country and developed their own set of new friends.
When they were first separated by distance, the phone calls were often but, over time, became fewer and fewer until they just stopped. Neither brother wanted to be the first to reunite their relationship with each being as stubborn as the next believing that it was up to the other brother to begin again with the initial call.
One Step At A Time
The lack of taking the first step is not a sign of maturity; it is not a trait that will ever serve one well. Life has a lot of ups and downs, obstacles, challenges and hurdles. But, if you ever want to overcome any of them, you must be prepared to take the first action that can lead to resolution or, at the very least, an action that says I am ready to begin in earnest.
The story of the brothers continued the same way for the next several years until there was occasion for them to be invited to the same wedding of one of their cousins. Neither knew that the other would or wouldn't attend. But, as life would have it, they both attended.
I just happened to be in the same part of the wedding chapel when they finally saw each other. Can you guess what happened?
Once Destroyed Now Re-built
At the moment their eyes met, you could see the startled expression of each of their faces; they both stopped in their tracks not quite believing what they saw. So, one start to approach the other, or did they just stand there? Neither. Both brothers propelled themselves as fast as they could and didn't just shake hands; they hugged each other for several minutes with out saying a word. After the warm and extended embrace, they both started to talk at once; both couldn't hold their emotion any longer - both wanting to say how much they missed the other.
The rest of the wedding and reception saw these two brothers by the side of the other, greeting old friends and family as if they were joined at the hip. Two brothers now re-united after each refusing to call the other for years. Bridges - some need to be reinforced, some need to be rebuilt, and some just need to be repaved or a little paint applied. As the saying goes, "Build a bridge and get over it."
Do what these brothers did - make those repairs, make those connections - build without even thinking that the other side will not come together. Life is far too short to allow your bridges to decay, to waste away.
Inspirational Quotes for Reflection:
"Sometimes, instead of climbing over the barricades, you've got to walk around them." Bono
"Try to do unto others as you would have them do to you, and do not be discouraged if they fail sometimes. It is much better that they should fail than you should." Charles Dickens
"Life is so short. Grudges are a waste of time. Laugh when you can, apologise when you should, and trust God with what you cannot change." Nicky Gumbel
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