Two brothers lived next door to each other, tending their farms. They shared machinery, traded labor and other stuff from time to time. Forty years passed. They got into one of those misunderstandings. However, the minor issue became a major difference of opinion and led to words being exchanged and then, a rift between the two. They stopped talking to each other.
Then one morning, there was a knock on one of the brother’s doors. When he opened it, he found a man standing there with a toolbox. He was looking for some work and asked if there were any minor jobs he could do. The brother agreed and pointing to the creek by his farm, said, “There, beyond that creek is my brother’s farm. Last week we had a beautiful meadow between our farms. But he drove his bulldozer through it to the river and now, we have a creek between us. I think he did it to spite me. Now, here’s what I want you to do,” and showing the man a pile of lumber by his barn, said, “Build me a fence. A really tall one that hides his farm from me.”
The man who happened to be a carpenter, said he would and set to work after he got the materials he needed. He worked all day, measuring out wood, sawing, hammering nails. When the brother who hired him came out to see how far the work had progressed, he was shocked!
He could see no fence. Instead, he saw a beautifully crafted bridge sitting across the creek. He walked to it and ran his hand across the handrail. As he looked, he spotted his brother at the other end of the bridge, arms outstretched. He said, “You are amazing to build this bridge after what I did and said!”
The brothers then walked towards each other and hugged.
Then they turned to see the carpenter pack his toolbox. “Please stay,” they said. “We have plenty of work for you.”
Said the carpenter, “I’d love to. But I have many bridges to build.”
Relationships are precious.
They take nurturing, love and care.
They involve letting go of grudges.
Fences vs bridges. The choice is ours.
One leads to isolation.
The other leads to happiness.
#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.