October 14, 2013

Life Hack: What Divides You and How You Can Bridge the Gap

We were on our way to North Lake Mall to do a short errand when this mind-blowing realization smacked me right on the head. As we cross the bridge that connects us to the other side, where the mall is located, I, for some reason, suddenly stared far ahead at highway I-485 which seemingly looked long and endless. A highway that will soon come full circle. Then it hit me! This highway is a gap that divides. Just like all the other highways and rivers in the world, they create a chasm, a divide...

As I ponder on that, I took a quick memory check. In the city I grew up in, we have this enormous and sometimes tumultuous river that separates us from the center of the city. To get to it, I have to either cross a bridge or ride a canoe, we call "baloto" in Ilokano ("banka" in Tagalog)  across the river. There again, a divide.

Anywhere you go in this world, there's always that divide. Most of it man-made now. Modernization have created these highways to further our development, parting cities and towns, that used to be one, all in the name of PROGRESS and modern living. But what gives?

Well, for one, some people have lost their homes, part of their properties, relocated or bought off, to give way to new roads, highways and infrastructures. It's not an easy process for those affected but some were happy with the change, some...they're just plain miserable.

In our lives, we also create this very same highways and rivers. By way of our careers, addictions, obsessions and sometimes even by jealousy and depression. In the aim of making it big and successful, or the lack thereof, we give in to the beckoning. We call our highways, the road to success. But sometimes they turn into "the road to failure". Or worst, "the road to death".

Now, in comparison to the real highways with our own is that, though major highways are well-thought of by planners and Engineers, they too fail. Just like how I-485 failed us for so many years by the stoppage of its completion due to lack of funding and whatever political mojo-jojo that never passed to make it happen.

We too fail. Sometimes miserably bad! Whatever divides we created in our lives, they always have a way of making us pay back. "When my father decided he wanted another family besides us, while still married with my mom, he purposely created a massive chasm that divided my family irreparably. Massive divide." 

That divide have cost us many tears, broken relationships, lost of respect and many other negative emotions and repercussions. It was like Dooms day all at once. But before his death, we were able to bridge that gap!

How did we bridge the gap?
Pretty simple really. Just like how highways and Freeways and major thoroughfares that divides towns and cities into two, bridges are put in place to reconnect the two. During those tumultuous times in my family, while our home resembled a war zone, I volunteered as the unifying peace corp officer. Though heavy with hurt and battered with pain, I know I have to be the bridge to connect the gap. It was like hammering my way through Berlin wall.  But it lead to communication lines being opened and peace talk ensued. It took years to rebuild.

I'm not telling you to do something against your will but if it's worth saving, take the heed and start building that bridge. When my father suddenly died a year after healing has taken place, we were grateful to have found closure and made amends before it was all too late.  

It's tough work creating a bridge I should warn you. But whatever divide you have, created by you or not, it certainly deserves a bridge!

"If you're holding on a grudge that is from the past, then it's not of the past!" - author unknown.


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