Once upon a time…
Two brothers lived on adjoining farms. They had been farming side-by-side for 40 years, sharing equipment and machinery through many a drought and flood. They shared labour and goods as well as a shoulder or a good ear, as needed.
One day, their relationship fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding which grew into a major difference. Finally, it exploded into a bitter exchange of words, followed by months of gruelling silence.
One sunny morning, there was a knock at the older brother’s door. He opened it to find a man standing there with a toolbox and broad smile.
“Hello! My name is Ralph. I am a highly experienced, fully licensed carpenter, and I’m looking for a couple of days’ work. Do you have a few small jobs here and there that I could help out with?”
Without hesitation the older brother said “Yes! As a matter of fact, I do have a job for you”.
He led Ralph out to the main shed and pointed. “See that farm across the creek? That’s my neighbour; actually, it’s my numb-skull younger brother. Last week, there was a meadow between us, and that knucklehead demolished the river levee with his bulldozer. Now there is a creek between us. He may have done this to spite me, but I’ll do him one better. See that pile of wood up the back of the shed? I want you to build me a fence – an 8-foot fence — so I don’t ever have to see his place or his face again.”
Ralph nodded and said, “I think I understand the situation. Please show me where to find the nails and post-hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”
The older brother had to go into town, so he helped Ralph ready the materials, packed up his truck, and set off for the day. Ralph worked hard all day measuring, sawing, nailing, and sanding. Right on sunset, the farmer returned just as Ralph had finished the job.
The farmer’s jaw dropped; his eyes almost popped out of his head. There was no fence there at all. It was a bridge — a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, with handrails and steps. He looked up to see his neighbour, his younger brother, coming toward them with his arms outstretched “You are a better man than me, bro, to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.”
The two brothers stepped on to each end of the bridge. They met each other in the middle with a big bear hug. Carried away in the moment, they turned to see Ralph hoist his toolbox onto his shoulder.
“No, wait! Stay a few days. I have plenty of other projects for you,” said the older brother.
“I’d love to stay on,” said Ralph, “but I have many more bridges to build.”
“With innovation and initiative we have the potential to change the world for the better.”
― Sameh Elsayed
Moral of the Story:
Initiative is doing the right thing without being told. It takes initiative to see beyond what is being asked to be done, to gain perspective on what needs to be done. Never think that what you have to offer is insignificant. There will always be someone out there that needs what you have to give. Do what you can, with what you have, from where you are. Those who have been broken become experts in mending.
Pride will always be the longest distance between two people. Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right. Life is not a sport. Life is not maths. There is no final end goal and there is no right answer. Just because your truth does not match someone else’s truth does not make either of you wrong because life is not a zero sum game. It’s okay to disagree with each other, what’s not okay is to hate each other because we disagree. Let’s build bridges rather than fences.
“The wise always build bridges in times of crisis,
the foolish dig in and double down on building walls.”
― Itayi Garande
Affirmation: I find solutions for the highest good of all concerned.
Showing initiative builds my self-esteem, compelling me to take an opening move more often. I have confidence that I can set into motion the success I desire. I give and receive love freely and joyfully. I find love everywhere I go. Life loves me! I feel like I matter. I am contributing to this world. I forgive myself for not being the person I wanted me to be. I forgive all others and set them free. I choose to release any toxicity from the past. I move beyond forgiveness into compassion and understanding. I have multiple options and I choose the one with the highest vibration. The more initiative I use, the more choices I have, and the more love I receive. I choose connection over competition. I choose to expand with love.
“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man;
true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
― Ernest Hemingway