Bridges Vs Fences

Got this as another thought and some forward notes – could not but help relate it to our mindset.

Once, 2 brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side. Began with a small misunderstanding, grew into a major difference and exploded into an exchange of bitter words, followed by weeks of silence.

One morning a carpenter knocked on the elder brother’s door. “I’m looking for a few days work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs for me.”

“Yes,” said the older brother. “Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river level. Now there is a creek between us. He may done this to spite me, but I’ll do one better. See that pile of lumbar by the barn? I want you to build me an 8-foot fence so I can’t see his place anymore.”

The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The carpenter worked hard all that day. About sunset, when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no fence there at all. Instead, there was a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! It was a fine piece of work, handrails and all.

The farmer’s younger brother was coming across, his hand outstretched. ‘You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done,” he said.

The two brothers met in the middle of the bridge, taking each other’s hand. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.

“No wait! Stay a few days. I have many other projects for you,” said the older brother.

‘I’d love to stay on, but I have many more bridges to build,” said the carpenter.

It is ironic how easy we tend to break our bridges at the slightest provocation. Many are internal, some are externally provoked, but it is a wonder, how easy it is to fall prey to them. We all grow up with our parents teaching us to stand together in times of thick and thin, we grow up hearing stories about the bundle of sticks that could not be broken when all were together, we all grow up in environments that promote togetherness and happiness, yet, as we tend to mature and become intelligent and educated, we grow apart.

We know it, we realize it, but yet, no one wants to take the first step forward. Part of this is also due to us being extra educated when we sarcastically put down the other when he / she makes the first step – “I knew it was your fault”. We allow others to cloud our judgement, we allow our inner beings being subject to what will society think, but we never take the first step.

Many a time, it is too late by the time we realize, sometimes we say, why bother, it has been years – let it be as is. What is even more surprising and common, is that we would rather put our own selves and our families down and allow others to be our bigger priority. We would happily leave our pack and find solace among others, who might be happier that we are not together.. But, are we blind to see it?

Every now and then, we too have a choice to build a fence or bridge!

One leads to Isolation..the other leads to Closeness. The Choice, is ours to make

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Food.. For Thought

A Cyclist – is a disaster for the economy:

  1. He does not buy the car and does not take a car loan.
  2. Does not buy vehicle insurance.
  3. Does not buy fuel.
  4. Does not use the services of repair shops and car washes.
  5. Does not use paid parking.
  6. Does not become obese.
  7. Yes, and well, dammit !

*Healthy people are not needed for the economy. They do not buy drugs. They do not go to private doctors.* *They do not increase the country’s GDP !*

On the contrary, every new McDonald’s outlet creates 30 jobs:

10 Dentists, 10 Cardiologists and 10 Weight Loss Experts.

Irony is – we prefer the latter!

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The Cockroach Theory

At a restaurant, a cockroach suddenly flew from somewhere and sat on a lady. She started screaming out of fear.

With a panic-stricken face and trembling voice, she started jumping, with both her hands desperately trying to get rid of the cockroach. Her reaction was contagious, as everyone in her group also got panicky.

The lady finally managed to push the cockroach away but …it landed on another lady in the group. Now, it was the turn of the other lady in the group to continue the drama.

The waiter rushed forward to their rescue. In the relay of throwing, the cockroach next fell upon the waiter.

The waiter stood firm, composed himself and observed the behavior of the cockroach on his shirt.When he was confident enough, he grabbed it with his fingers and threw it out of the restaurant.

Sipping my coffee and watching the amusement, the antenna of my mind picked up a few thoughts and started wondering, was the cockroach responsible for their histrionic behavior?

If so, then why was the waiter not disturbed?

He handled it near to perfection, without any chaos.

It is not the cockroach, but the inability of those people to handle the disturbance caused by the cockroach, that disturbed the ladies.

I realized that, it is not the shouting of my father or my boss or my wife that disturbs me, but it’s my inability to handle the disturbances caused by their shouting that disturbs me.

It’s not the traffic jams on the road that disturbs me, but my inability to handle the disturbance caused by the traffic jam that disturbs me.

Lessons learnt:

I should not react in life. I should always respond.

The women reacted, whereas the waiter responded.

Reactions are always instinctive whereas responses are always well thought of.

This is a thought that I got as a forward. However as I read this through, more than once, could not but realize as to how true this stands in daily life. How often, if not rarely, do we allow situations to get the better of us? How often do we allow external forces to dictate how we think? How often do we see completely rational people act irrationally simply because of an incident that we are not prepared for. How often do we allow our mind to control the situation than our hearts?

No doubt easily spoken than enacted. But definitely not impossible. We don’t need to look for the cockroach to test our skills, but it could be a simple matter of being late to work due to an unplanned event. Do we reach flustered to work, or do we find the best solution to reach 5 minutes late, but calm?

Truly said: Life cannot be changed in a minute. But, a decision taken in a minute can change everything in Life!

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“You will definitely succeed in life – If you follow all the advises you give others” – Unknown.

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Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine….


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