Build Bridges, not Walls

Ponte em construção

Bridge in construction in Brazil

As a friend of mine said once, “I’m bright for certain things, but severely limited for others”. I’m specifically slow to understand human relations. I learn a lot from my wife who is a master on dealing with people, even hard people. There is a lesson I learn recently and I’m striving to put in practice. I’ll share it with you.

Stoned wall

Wall made of raw stones

I’ve observed that we can use our words to build things. In fact, we are always building something every time we say something. Every word counts as a brick. And if you look at it, you can split your construction efforts into bridges and walls.
Walls separate people, bridges connect them.
Murky sky over Golden Gate Bridge

Cloudy day at San Francisco

Both are necessary. There are people we should always be connected to. There are also bad people who we should keep a distance of. But apart from those extremes, the great majority of people we get to know could be either on the other side of a bridge or behind a wall, depending of what we are building between us and them.

Rows of bricks

Storage of bricks in the factory

There are bricks which are more suitable to one construction than to the other. Kind, lovely, forgiven words are great to build bridges and they make very weak walls. On the other hand, angry, arrogant, hypocritical, harsh words don’t build bridges which can support people. They are meant to build walls.

Colorful walls at Inhotim

Colorful art exposition in Inhotim

Before you speak, you should consider carefully if you are building bridge or wall. Some people build walls and wail at them. Other people prefer to build bridges and celebrate on them.
I regret having built many walls in my life. Justified by my self-appointed righteousness, my uptight certainty of my own truths, my fear of being deceived I built many walls. At that time I thought I was building the wall to protect me. Now I realize they only isolated me, making me a sad prisoner on my own sad castle.

Boy playing on the bridge

Boy running to cross the river on a small bridge

From now one, I want to build more bridges. I will put some bricks on my side and invite you to put some on your side. If we both persevere, we’ll meet in the middle with a hug.

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