Leaders across the world have a choice when they come to power, whether to burn bridges or build ones! They watch two communities sparring with each other all the time, and instead of wading in the waters and building a bridge, they decide to further increase the conflict, escalate the tension and burn whatever is left of the bridge down.
It’s easy to burn a bridge, all it requires is a match!
But to build, needs patience, understanding and big heartedness.
But there are also bridges built out of fear: Today, I see our foreign minister sparing no effort to build and repair bridges between us and the neighbouring giant. His bridge building made headlines today in all the newspapers, because nobody wants war with a powerful enemy.
But would the same be done with a weaker foe?
If our little neighbor Sri Lanka decided to do all the things China has done to us, would we have colonel to colonel talks, brigadier meetings, then generals, the foreign minister and finally the two prime ministers themselves?
Would we or would we just squash them like flies?
Because true greatness is applying the same yardstick to even the little fellow. True greatness lies in making the little fellow feel big, building a bridge, understanding why he acted a particular way and solving the issue, not because we were afraid another country would befriend them, but because we believe in the principle of bridge building.
In the process we may be called sissies and cowards, but we ain’t! That is true strength!
Today, we need to look at the little people in our own country. Are we building bridges or burning some of the frail, weak and tottering ones?
‘Blessed are the peacemakers!’ say the Holy Scriptures. I doubt it means those who seek peace with a giant or monster, but those who try to guard, protect and make comfortable those who need a bridge in the form of equality, safety and security being built across to them.
The same way, today, we are hammering a deal, working twenty-four by seven out of sheer fear the dragon will not overrun our land, we need to build bridge after bridge after bridge however fragile at first, to look after our weak.
Let’s move away from world leaders to you and me; do we spend most of our time building bridges to the rich and powerful? A youngster asked me the other day, “Uncle what do you think of me?” I replied, “You’re a good PR man!” Alas, as with all such, their PR is only to get on the same stage or page of the powerful, till one day, the powerful, with disdain trample and walk over them.
What are you doing? Building bridges? With whom?
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