Bridge Building is Not the End Goal for Connecting Groups

In America, we have a lot of issues and concerns. Over the years, we have heard of building “bridges” to connect groups of people and alleviate the differences we all have. While this notion is a great start, we must remember that bridges are temporary structures. They can falter, be washed away or be placed in areas which are not easily accessible to all. All physical bridges and structures require constant maintenance, inspections, and usage to be effective and trusted. The same can be said of the psychological and administrative bridges which are put in place for different groups of people (be it religious, race, financial, etc.). If these bridges are not maintained, they will eventually fail as well.

In some cases, makeshift or temporary bridges are put in place with the determination that the area between the two points it is connecting will eventually be filled with dirt, sand, and other materials. By doing so, the bridge is rendered useless and can be removed. In other cases, it is not practical to do this. Perhaps the bridge spans water. In this case, a bridge is designed to specifications which will allow it to serve a permanent function.

When it comes to bridging groups of people and connecting them together, we should always be mindful that bridges are an effective option for quickly instituting a system that will allow the groups to see eye-to-eye and encourage communication with one another. However, bridges are often fragile and cannot always be set up to be permanent. Instead, we must not aspire to make a temporary structure which may fail eventually.

There are various gaps in the lives of people around us which effect the bridges we build. A gap is a space between two places that stops people from reaching out to one another, and a bridge is built to connect two places together. Gaps are the reason why people find it hard to come together and communicate or relate. Gaps are very serious issues in our society at large. One gap is the educational gap, where some people find it hard to relate to people who are uneducated or are illiterate. Cultural gaps occur when people from different backgrounds (whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians) don’t get along because they don’t understand or respect the others’ culture. There is the religious gap, which is a big challenge in countries around the world, because there is a lack of respect that prevents people from unifying. Another major gap is the financial status gap. If you look around, you will the lower class working people, the middle-class earners and the elites and extremely wealthy people.

These gaps need to be bridged one way or the other so that people have the opportunity to be able to relate with one another. If nothing is done about a faulty bridge, we will eventually experience a failure of some kind, a failure that can bring confusion, inhibit progress, and set back our progress. It will require even more time, money energy and more resources to repair all that has been lost. It would be better if we worked harder towards backfilling the area that divides us. We should make things right and find common ground in the areas that bring division, try to acknowledge people, see the big picture in them. It would also be in our best interest have a good attitude, learn about other people and give people a chance to make changes in their lives. In doing so, we will have a society which is balanced and can be understood by everyone, a society where everyone is accepted irrespective of their differences, their pasts, and their mistakes, while simultaneously ensuring that the different pathways people want to use are always open on all fronts.

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