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The Bridge PDF Print E-mail

Once upon a time two brothers who 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. Then this collaboration fell apart. It started with a small misunderstanding, grew into a major difference and finally exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.


The younger brother decided to build a dam between the two farms, increasing the divide between the two. One day a man with carpenter’s tools came looking for work at the elder brother’s farm. This brother told the man, ‘Look at that dam. My younger brother bulldozed the meadow between our farms and built the dam. But I’m going to go one better. Take the timber by the barn and build a high fence between the farms so I don’t see my brother’s face again.’ The carpenter agreed to do the work and said, ‘I’ll do a job that pleases you.’


The older brother was gone to town for the day. When he returned at sunset, his jaw dropped. There was no fence between the farms. There was a bridge stretching across the dam, joining the farms. And his younger brother was coming across, hand outstretched. ‘You’re quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done,’ he told the elder brother. They met and made up. They saw the carpenter leaving. ‘Stay,’ said the elder brother, but the carpenter said, ‘I have many more bridges of love to build.’


Join ties with those who break them. And pardon those who oppress you. (Hadith)

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