COMMENTARY 826.5: Bridge Builder

by Michael Josephson on May 9, 2013

in Caring, Compassion, Choices, Commentaries

Post image for COMMENTARY 826.5: Bridge Builder

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” In a world increasingly dominated by unapologetic selfishness, this idea may seem quaint and outdated. Yet, for those who have a grand vision of their purpose and value, striving to be of service is not only a noble thing to do, it’s the best way to lead a truly fulfilling and significant life.

Poet Will Allen Dromgoole put it this way:

An old man going a lone highway
Came at the evening, cold and grey,
To a chasm, vast and deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a swollen tide.

The old man crossed in the twilight dim.
That swollen stream held no fears for him,
But he paused when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You’re wasting strength with building here.
Your journey ends with the ending day.
You never again must pass this way.
You’ve crossed this chasm deep and wide.
Why build this bridge at the even’ tide?”

The builder lifted his old grey head,
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followeth after me today
A youth, whose feet must pass this way.

“This swollen stream that was naught for me,
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be.
He too must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building the bridge for him.”

This is Michael Josephson reminding you to build bridges for others because character counts.

Please return to the Blog Home Page www.whatwillmatter.com  and browse to see other current and archived commentaries, quotes and other good stuff.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Brenda May 14, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Nice poem. First time I read one from Dromgoole!

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Jack D. Compton May 15, 2013 at 10:55 am

Mr. Josephson
You may remember us? My wife and I came to a reception at you headquarters / office when you invited those who submitted letters for a contest to have a one on one lunch with you. She did not win the one on one but we loved meeting you and the others that came to the reception later.
I taught Welding at a community college ( College of the Canyons ) for 33 years and I am now retired and just do a little welding and consulting on the side. In the conversation I had with you I was pleased that you saw a relationship between welding and joining people together.
My main reason for this letter is to thank you for the recent Commentary 826.5: Bridge Builder.
I would also like to invite you to come and see the bridge that I built with the help of a few of my former welding students. The bridge is to give us access to our home and we have enjoyed using it for over 6 years now. Our original bridge was washed out in a flood and this 135 foot long Foot Bridge is the main access to our home. I don’t know if you ever accept invitations to homes of any of your followers but we would be honored to have you visit us and let us share an afternoon meal with you and your lovely wife and cross our bridge that joins us to you and the rest of the world. I started to say that we are just ordinary folks but we are a bit more than that. Most people who visit us consider the visit more of an adventure than ordinary. I can assure you that the bridge is structurally strong and considerably more sturdy than the bridge depicted in your commentary. Photos available on request.

Please give this invitation your consideration.
Jack & Connie Compton

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Queen Victoria May 23, 2013 at 3:44 am

This makes life interesting when we see ourselves as brothers,i love that event wil u invite me as well il b glad 2 come n see d bridge n share ideas because is all about sharing

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Jack D. Compton May 27, 2013 at 11:23 am

Hello Queen Victoria

I am sorry I do not remember you. Have we met? Possibly at the reception I mentioned earlier? I have not heard back from Mr. Josephson as yet. If he does come we could celebrate with a small group potluck BBQ. I am not sure if he would prefer a private short time with my wife and I or to share an afternoon with friends and a meal. Either way, you being a follower of Mr. Josephson it would be a pleasure to meet you. I do not know how to attach a photo to this kind of communication so I would have to refer you to my regular email to send any photos.
Jack Compton ( jack.comptonwelder@gmail.com )

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