“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Sir Isaac Newton
I just read this quote in one of my books on leadership I am reading for my classes and it really struck me, the profound truth of it. How often do we allow offense or miscommunication or hurt to build up walls within us that separate us from others rather than build bridges that connect us together?
It reminded me of a time several years ago when the age of the boys in my dorm had risen and was bordering on adolescence and so we were encountering some behavior problems. One particular evening, some of the older boys had been particularly disrespectful and I was hurt and offended. I was in fact nursing the hurt in my head – building walls between us.
I suddenly heard God very clearly speak to my spirit – “build a bridge to them.” Of course, I said, “what? is that you God?” And again, I heard him say, “build a bridge – they don’t know how, you need to show them how.”
The moment is crystal clear to this day – the importance of building a bridge to cover the gap that grows between us during conflict. And, especially with children, to model that for them in order to teach them what to do when they have wronged or been wronged. How to forgive and seek forgiveness.
Since then, I have often found myself in a situation when I whisper to myself – “build a bridge Laura.” I hope that will keep me from building too many walls!
Do you build bridges or walls in your life? I’d love to hear your stories!