This is a story of two brothers who lived side by side in their own farms for many years, until one day, a foolish argument caused a rift between them. This was the first serious disagreement the brothers had in all of their 50 years. Up until that day, they always worked their fields together, shared knowledge and produce, and lent a helping hand to one another in times of need. The fight began over a small misunderstanding, which can sometimes happen, but the dispute dragged on and became an angry exchange of words, followed by weeks of silence.
One day, there was a knock on the older brother’s door. When he opened it, he was facing an old, bearded carpenter, holding a toolbox. “I could sure use some work, sir” said the stranger, “Do you need any repairs in your farm?”. “Yes”, replied the brother, “I’ve got a job for you. Across the creek, there’s a farm that happens to belong to my younger brother. Until recently, the whole area between our homes was green, but then he changed the creek’s path, making it into a border between us. I’m sure he did that for spite, but I’ll show him…” said the older brother. “You see those trees by the barn? I want you to turn them into a 10-foot tall fence. I never want to see his face again.”
The old carpenter thought quietly to himself for a few minutes and eventually said: “I see”.
The farmer helped the carpenter carry his tools and the wood, and then drove off to the city on some errands. When he came back in the evening, the old carpenter had finished. Upon arriving at the creek, the older brother was stunned. His eyes were bulging out, and he couldn’t utter a single word.
Where a fence should have been standing, a bridge now stood. A quaint and special bridge, truly a work of art, with an intricately carved banister. At the same time, the younger brother happened to come to the same spot. He rushed over the bridge and embraced his older brother, and said: “You’re something special… Building a bridge, after all I’ve said and done!” While both brothers were hugging, the old carpenter collected his tools and started walking away. The brothers turned to him and said “Please, stay for a few more days – we have more things that need fixing.”
“I would have loved to stay, kind sirs,” said the carpenter, “But I have many more bridges to build and things to fix in other places…”
The moral of our story is a simple one: We often let anger push us away from our loved ones, and allow pride to come before our love. Don’t let it happen to you. Learn to forgive and appreciate what you have.
Remember: The past cannot be changed, but the future can be. No quarrel can spoil a true connection. Build your bridges when you have to, and always cross them with a smile.