Some Bridges You Cross, Some You Burn

I’ll be the first to admit the morning mirror can be a devastating experience. To one’s self respect, confidence, and any hope of making it through the day. Still, there is one uncompromising message in that glass. In your life and in the life of the world, some things never change, while other things are constantly changing. To know the difference is to know which bridges to cross and which to burn.

Look, you have the same two eyes, but lately you are seeing with them more poorly. You have the same two arms, but gradually you feel them less useful. The same can be said for the world. Some things out there haven’t changed from the day we lost our lease on Eden; and yet, so much out there is in a dizzying state of relentless change. Why?

Take the world’s first responders.

At first everyone seems to honor them. That gutsy first-line-of-defense that stands between us and impending disasters. Cops…firefighters…ambulance drivers…ER teams…power-line crews. These have been the stuff of recurring hoorays and headlines. As they should be.


They are just one example of how our world remains the same at the same time it’s leaving the same behind. Spend time with these warriors, and hear their tales. These professional responders are the same; but the recipients around them are not. Lately almost as many jeers as cheers. Cops and firefighters being shot at as they enter neighborhoods…ambulance drivers and ER crews being sued whenever anything goes wrong….power-line teams being shouted down by angry homeowners.

There’s something wrong with this picture. What is it? Somehow it has to do with a coarser, more impatient, less respectful culture which all too often calls itself cool. Watching their public behaviors there are times I’d replace cool with cruel. The rough-edged cruelty of a society whose only dedication seems to be to self. Now there’s a bridge well worth burning.

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