Each of us comes into adulthood believing we’ll either count for something, or should be counting for something. We know about “upward” regardless of which way we’re currently facing.
We also recognize we’ve got both a past and a future — where we came from and where we’re going.
We’re always building bridges between where we are and where we want to be.
It takes a little longer to realize that while we’re on different paths, each person believes their choices of path are appropriate for them and their situation. Provided the opportunity to choose another path, we may or may not make that path our own.
In choosing our paths, we are both students and teachers. Sometimes we give help. Sometimes we accept help. Sometimes we’re the bridge between the two, helping others to see the gap without judging either the teacher or the student, or even ourselves.
Honest acceptance of where we are on the path is key to knowing what bridge-building role we can play.
I had coached my daughters’ soccer teams. Engaging the strong players to help the weaker players builds the bridges toward an effective team.
I had led cyclists of different abilities, alternating between the front of the group and the back of the group to ensure everyone was enjoying the ride. Fostering a sense of acceptance amongst the riders of different skills allows everyone to find a riding level that is suited to how they feel on that ride.