What are you a bridge to?

July 23, 2018

In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Jack Freed uses this quote from Michael Jordan – “I want to be a bridge to the next generation.” 

Jack went on the write about the characteristics of the generations that are alive today and had a link to this explanation of the various tags that we associate with those generations – http://fourhooks.com/marketing/the-generation-guide-millennials-gen-x-y-z-and-baby-boomers-art5910718593/

The post made me think about the fact that we all act in the role of bridges to the future for someone, just because of how we interact with them and what they take away fromfamily grroup that experience. The obvious bridge role is with our own children who watch us as they are growing up for cues and clues as to how to act and how to react to things as they happen. Others whom we might not even be aware of also look at our actions for some guidance – for either what to do or what not to do. So, for them, we are a bridge to their own future.

That realization begs the question of self-examination – “What type of bridge am I?” Am I showing the world a bridge that is open, accepting and friendly or one that appears to be arrogantclosed-minded, prejudiced and angry? Do I appear to be a person that others would like to get to know or someone to avoid? Do I take the time to listen and understand the other person or do I jump to a conclusion based upon some preconceived notions or prejudices? Am I willing to consider a different point of view or am I hunkered down in a fixed position and unwilling to even consider something different? Am I displaying the behavior and attitude that Jesus would have displayed in this situation?

The first few questions above are ones that too many people are unable to objectively answer, because they are so consumed by and fixed upon their positions of fear and hate. It’s that last question that shines the spotlight squarely into the hole that they have dug for themselves and exposes the Devil that is driving their behavior. Jesus neverjesus-as-lighttaught hate, prejudice, or exclusion. He always taught love, acceptance, and forgiveness. The bridge that Jesus represents has its foundation in His commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself”.  He didn’t stutter. He didn’t go on to say, “unless they are…” He didn’t make exceptions based upon fear or hate. His is the bridge that we should all emulate as we demonstrate to others through our lives a bridge to the next generation.

Think about what you are a bridge to and what your actions and reactions show others about you and what direction they point to for the future. Join with Jesus in showing the bridgiing gapsworld and the generations that follow you a bridge to understanding, acceptance and love for your fellow man.

Cross that bridge…build that bridge…be that bridge.

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You must make the effort…

November 24, 2015

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.”  –  Milton Berle

I have a suspicion that most of the readers of this blog don’t know who Milton Berle was. He was called Uncle Miltie and Mr. Television. He starred in the long running NBC TV show the Texaco Star Theater. He was the biggest TV star of the era and, along with a number of other ex-Vaudevillians, was instrumental in the rapid rise of television and the nation’s primary source of entertainment. He is the source of a great number of really good quotes – see http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/m/milton_berle.html

knockng on doorWhat I like about this quote is that it is actionable. It doesn’t just say sit there and wait if you want an opportunity, build a door for it to knock upon.  That may mean taking classes or doing the prep work that is needed to be ready. It may mean putting in the extra effort that gets noticed when opportunity arrives. It could mean doing some of the things that you really don’t like to do, because opportunity demands that they be done first.

Here’s another thought along similar lines –

“If a gap separates you from someone or something that you want, build a bridge.” – Me

Very often we may sit lamenting that there is what seems to be a gap between us and what we want. That may be a relationship with someone bridgiing gapselse or maybe something like a better job. The gap represents either skills and knowledge that we don’t have or maybe just self-confidence that we lack. The gap may be relatively narrow or very wide, but we feel stuck on one side and what we want is on the other side.

Here again the advice is to take action, rather than wallowing in self-pity. Building the bridge that we need may take a while and undoubtedly involve self-improvement, either in our knowledge and skills or in our self-esteem. It is possible that it will take quite a while to build that bridge, but I suspect that the benefits will start accruing as soon as you start taking action to build it. Who knows; while you’re busy building that bridge opportunity just might knock.

ant workingSo, the point is that we must make the effort. Things are not going to fall into our laps just because we sit around lamenting what we don’t have. Build a bridge or a door. Get up and do something to move towards your goals and improve your chances of success. Find joy in the effort and take to heart the words of Theodore Roosevelt –

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Live well my friends. Make the effort that others will envy.