The Bridge Builder
(by Will Allen Dromgoole)
An old man, going a lone highway, Came at the evening cold and gray
To a chasm vast and deep and wide
Through which was flowing a swollen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The rapids held no fears for him.
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” cried a fellow pilgrim near,
“You’re wasting your time in building here.
Your journey will end with the closing day;
You never again will pass this way.
You have crossed the chasm deep and wide;
Why build you this bridge at even-tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head.
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There follows after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This stream, which has been as naught to me,
To that fair youth may a pitfall be.
He too must cross in the twilight dim —
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”
That is one of my favorite poems in life. I just love love love the message of this poem. It serves as such a great reminder that as we go through this life we shouldn’t just focus on ourselves and what we can accomplish, we should also stop and look back to figure out how we can make life’s journey better for those who come behind us. The man in the poem had succeeded in his own journey but rather than just continuing forward he recognized the responsibility to stop and build a bridge so that the people who would travel that road after him would have an easier route they could take. If each of us would be willing to do that in this life, take the life lessons we have learned and the challenges we navigated through and use them to benefit others, it would have a hugely positive impact on all who come behind us. The ripple effect for good would be tremendous.
Today’s challenge for me and for all of us is to look for ways to become a bridge builder! Have a great day everyone!