Spokane, Washington, is the home of many bridges because of the majestic Spokane River. During its peak season, this river spills over 348 million gallons of water every 24 hours. This is enough water to fill a football field one mile deep every day. To travel north-south, Spokanites need to cross this river; recently over $100 million was spent to repair its main street bridge. In addition, Spokane has many more overhead clearances for pedestrians.
Do you have a favorite bridge? I do! My grandpa Mitchell helped build the Deception Pass bridge linking Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands in Washington state. Ironically, I nearly drowned in a commercial fishing accident near this spectacular bridge during my college years.
Still, it became my favorite bridge because it was a vivid reminder that a bridge is a connector between two adjacent places.
In life, people are bridges linking individuals. They are precious gifts. Like structural bridges, people bridges require constant attention. Often they cost time, tender care, and even money, to maintain their integrity, safety, trustworthiness, and commitment.
When a Spokane bridge is closed for repairs, the community experiences inconvenience, loss of time, heavy traffic. Similarly, when a human bridge is in disrepair, extra attention needs to be given. If it is destroyed, the loss can be devastating.
One lesson is to be a reliable, trustworthy bridge. Our personal bridge needs constant maintenance, frequent repair with honest self-evaluation and committed effort for self-improvement.
A second lesson is to encourage others to be a strong, healthy bridge. For inspiring others:
- Take a moment to enjoy your favorite personal bridge.
- Take some more time to mentally honor all the human bridges in your life.
- Then tell at least one of these human bridges how you value them.