InspirEmail No 247 - December 10th, 2012 - Building Bridges
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'
Two brothers that lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods as needed without a hitch.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.
Very early one morning there was a knock on the older brother's door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter's toolbox. 'I'm looking for a few days' work' he said. 'Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?'
'Well as it happens there is' said the older brother.
'I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbour, in fact, it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll go him one better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence . . . a 2 metre high fence, so I won't need to see him or his place anymore.
The carpenter said, 'I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the post-hole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you.'
The older brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, digging and nailing. About sunset when the older brother returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The older brother eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped.
There was no fence there at all; instead there was a bridge . . . a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other. A fine piece of work handrails and all - and the neighbour, his younger brother was coming across the bridge, his hand outstretched.
'You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done,' he said.
The two brothers then met in the middle of the bridge, taking each other's hand and embraced . . . their conflict was at an end. They then turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.
'No, wait please stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you,' said the older brother.
'I'd love to stay on,' the carpenter said, 'but, I have many more bridges to build.'
Thank to my good friend Peter Crombie for sharing this story with me
'So now you have a farm, two houses, and four cars, correct?' asked Marcelo. Ivan nodded. 'Well done!' Marcelo smiled amicably to his old friend. 'And what else have you . . . read more >>>