Are you a bridge or a dam?
With so much division and hatred of “the other side” in our world, let’s take a moment to
recognize and celebrate the bridges.
Bridges connect two sides of a thing, so when a person is a bridge, they are able to connect two sides of an argument. The person who is a bridge doesn’t choose a side, but rather, tries to understand both sides and then find common ground on which to connect.
A bridge doesn’t try to stop the flow beneath them. Rather, they rise above it. The person who is a bridge doesn’t have to agree (or disagree) with either side. For that person, coming together is the most important thing. The bridge puts connection and relationship first.
People who are like bridges encourage an open flow of ideas. They don’t argue. They don’t persuade. They may feel strongly about one side or another, but you’d never know it because they value people too much to allow division to come between them.
Dams, on the other hand, stop the flow and movement of the water (the ideas) they hold. They close off the area so that nothing new comes in our goes out. The problem with dams is that without flow of something new and fresh, what’s in the dam becomes stagnant. When water (and ideas) become stagnant, they eventually become toxic.
When a person becomes a dam, they’re closed off to the ideas of others. They’re unwilling to listen to another side. They’ve made up their mind, and no amount of new information or fresh perspective is going to persuade them to think differently.
Dams are, in this way, the opposite of bridges because they stop the flow and movement of ideas. They cut off opportunities to understand others and to connect on common ground.
So, are YOU a bridge or a dam? Think about conversations you’ve had with family, friends, neighbors, or co-workers. Do you listen to try to understand a person with whom you disagree? Or do you forcefully argue to drive home your points? Or worse, do you close yourself off from people who don’t share your convictions?
For your own happiness, and to enrich your life, learn to be a bridge. Let the ideas and perspectives of others flow while trying to find common ground on which to stand together.
Rhonda Sciortino, author of 30 Days To Happiness (featured on Ellen DeGeneres' show and included in her Kind Box), was abandoned at the age of 6 months, raised by a mentally ill man and an alcoholic woman in a bizarre, emotional roller coaster of a childhood. Rhonda Sciortino used the coping skills from her childhood survival to create personal and professional success. Through her speaking, writing, podcast, media appearances, and videos she shares how others can use the obstacles in their lives as stepping stones to a their real success.