Bridging the Differences

The Tower Bridge- London circa 2017.

What makes a bridge so fascinating? For me, it’s the character that they represent. Bridges are built for a purpose, but take a lot of planning to create. They have to have a certain design, weight and structure to be able to hold the job they are built to do. Bridges have an important role in that they are a connection between a beginning and an end.

Bridges represent a journey. They are a symbol for leaving for an adventure or returning home from one. Without them, we would be stuck on one side. They present an opportunity to see a different part of the world. They connect two seemingly different areas, sometimes even different countries. Thus, bridges can symbolize how connections can be made between peoples.

I specifically chose the Tower Bridge in London in light of recent terrorist attacks that have occurred there. It seems that many of the issues in the world, political and otherwise, stem from a lack of understanding another person or culture. There is a distinct lack of communication, whether intended or not, that is fostering an environment of fear in the world. We don’t trust people that are different from us. We stereotype. We listen to the media as fact, without researching ourselves what is or is not the truth.

In a world of modern technological advancements, we sure do a pretty good job of being disconnected. We are disconnected from each other and the rest of the world. What my experiences traveling and immersing myself in cultures other than my own have taught me is that there are a lot more connections than one might think. We are all human with the same instinctually human desires: to be loved, to be happy, to be provided for, the list goes on. I have met and interacted with people from all over the world. The interactions that have always amazed me are the ones with people that do not speak the same language as me, but yet we still find a way to communicate.

I think that life experiences build and strengthen our individual bridges to other people. There is much to learn from the world, and I am by no means done learning. It’s okay, in fact I encourage you to start bridging the gap that people place between cultures, religions and peoples by interacting with them. Learn more about something you think there wouldn’t be a connection with, you might be surprised like I have been every single time I have taken steps to do so. You may just find that your bridge gets a little closer to the other side, and you come to a deeper understanding of who you are and what your role in the world is.

Let’s start bridging the differences. Let’s start building and designing a world of peace, one that will stand the test of time and provide an avenue for people to reach both sides.

Sincerely yours,

Jess

Photo Challenge: Bridge

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