Crossing the Bridge

A phrase I often hear myself saying to my children is this, “You know there are more ways to cross a bridge than just one!”

Sometimes I’ll tease and ask if they’re hopping, skipping, jumping, crawling or leaping across the bridge.

Tonight, after some tearful conversation, I thought about that proverbial bridge once more.

There are two sides to every bridge.  The bridge connects.

Crossing from the left bank to the right bank isn’t right.  Just as crossing from the right bank to the left bank is wrong.

Choosing to swim across the river under the bridge isn’t wrong either.  It’s more work than is called for and to most a fool-headed choice destined to doom, but it is a choice you can take that isn’t right or wrong.

But most importantly, crossing the bridge isn’t wrong until it takes you away from your destination.  And then it is only wrong because of your choices and not because the bridge exists.  Again, it isn’t wrong because I told you it was wrong because I don’t know where you’re headed.

Even if you told me where you were going and I told you about a bridge up ahead that got you to your destination more rapidly, if you choose to take this bridge and still got to your destination then you were not wrong.

Even if you did cross that bridge and were heading away from your destination and I pointed that out to you, I can not assume you were wrong.  Nor can I assume that your choice is wrong.  But I can decide that it is a choice that I choose not to follow.

I guess what I’m saying is that in my shoes, I am not able to say that you are right or wrong.  I can say that I think you’re crossing away from your destination and that I think there is a better route.  I’m also saying you can go ahead and cross that bridge.  I also wish you’d take the time to listen and question why I feel the way that I do about you crossing that bridge.

But never once am I saying that you’re wrong.  I’m saying, “I disagree.”

And I’m glad that the bridge still connects the left bank to the right bank.


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