Bridges are designed to connect. When they are washed away, we find ourselves unable to connect to those across the way.
The Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul is a thing of beauty. It is literally the bridge that connects Asia to Europe. I’ve been on it a few times and it always, like most bridges, gets me thinking about how people, places, things and ideas are connected.
Bridges are beautiful. The Brooklyn Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge are attractions that people want to see and view in reverence.
These are the literal bridges. Most of us pass over or under one daily without giving it much thought.
The figurative bridges are more complicated. These are the things that connect large swaths of people like nationality, religion, politics, education, economics, social media and sport and hobbies. We cross these bridges to either get from A to B like from life to death or to unite a group of people under one purpose like a major in college or a sport or hobby.
We follow our individual pathways or personal islands across bridges to find others like us. The problem in modern times is that many of the bridges that we thought were there, and were clearly marked on the map, were washed away stranding some across a divide too far to jump.
The sick are becoming sicker and many are more afraid of the cost than the sickness.. The homeless are a growing population and getting further and further away from ever owning a home. Many are being swallowed by their debt. Education, which used to be the bridge from one socio economic group to the other, has outcost its usefulness leaving millions without gainful employment and straddled with debt.
At the same time, educational businesses are recording record profits. Churches have leaders that fly in lear jets, and professional athletes are scouted at age six. We have blown up the bridges that move us as a unified society, and now only allow us to move as a fractured one.
Social media designs our feeds based on our religious and political ideologies pushing us onto islands with only others who mirror our beliefs and opinions without easy access to bridges across the divides to others.
Our leaders are the greatest examples of this. Their primary job requisite is diplomacy yet they more often than not, use their inability to bridge the political divide as a means for inaction. This does not and will build a connected humanity. It will only cause harm and violence.
Violence is the tool we resort to using when we are unable to bridge the divide between problem and solution. Whether it’s between parent and child or nation to nation. Violence is the tool used by those in power who are poor leaders, and those without power, when they are ignored, set aside and backed up against the wall.
Covid 2020 wiped away many of the bridges. To rebuild them, the path is simple. It’s the path of fairness for all. Medicaid for All, Universal Basic Income and Free Higher Education would be a good place to start.
But the truth is this, when a crime of necessity or passion has a harsher consequence than a crime against humanity, those writing and administering the laws need to be the first to change.
All destroyed bridges that were connecting humanity and received far lesser punishment than those without money. If the system is not fair, then the consequence is a society that no longer needs to be civil.
- All works at Observations from the Spectrum written by Dylan Netter
- On? a third point of view – book of Essays
- Marinehippie.com podcast w/ Docstodden.com – dialogue exploring politics and musings of life
- Horizoncoaching.org – English Tutor and Guide