The Bridge of Bridges

On a certain planet there was one large, fast-moving river that for centuries had never been spanned by a bridge. Finally, the modern age arrived and people near the river believed they had sufficient technology to span the river. Several different groups made proposals to the government for various bridge projects. These projects proposals had price tags in the tens of millions of dollars. Several bridge projects were funded, since it became essential that the river be forded.

At the start of these projects, there were great kick-off events, sometimes with the leader of the country present. As usual, there were crowds, and lots of food and music to commemorate the start of these great undertakings.

A teenage boy who lived by the river watched the men laying the foundations of some of the bridges. In some cases, the speed of the rushing water made progress incredibly slow. In other cases, the rushing water completely destroyed the foundations. One day the boy had a strong intuition: The river could never be bridged in a conventional way.

The boy saw a girl on the other side of the river who also was watching the bridge-building projects from the other side of the river. One day, he had an idea. When the wind was blowing right, he flew a kite over toward her, and then cut the string when the kite was above her. When she picked it up, she saw that there was an envelope attached. In the envelope was his plan for building a bridge. If she wanted to help him, the next day she was to take a towel and wave it around.

That is what she did.

He flew over another kite, and crashed it without cutting the string. She was to pull the string, to which was attached a strong metal wire. Periodically a helium balloon was attached to the wire so that its weight would not cause it to sink into the river. As instructed, she pulled the wire, and at the end, were attached two wires. Then she pulled the two wires, and they were pulling four. Meanwhile, she rolled up the wires for future use. The four wires pulled eight, eight wires pulled sixteen… Eventually a strong cable crossed the river.

Meanwhile, the various bridge builders were spending more money than was budgeted. They make new proposals to the government. The government leaders spent months debating who to fund, and where to find the money for these big projects.

Of course, workers from the bridge noticed that the boy and girl were doing something nearby. When they asked them, they said, “We are building a bridge across the river.” The workers laughed at them. Some thought that the two teens were arrogant dreamers. Some thought that they were arrogant to think they could do this.

Soon he had attached a motorized device to the cable. It would run along the cable, pulling more wires, or delivering small items. Soon people were sending small things back and forth, like medicines, or documents. The boy and girl made money for more wires to make the bridge stronger.

Meanwhile, the boy had been practicing walking across cables. He used a big balance pole. He was completely confident that he could cross the river, even with some wind. But as a backup, he created a device that would attach to his belt on one side and roll along the cable. If he fell, he would be suspended by the device, and be able to pull himself along the cable with gloved hands.

He didn’t need the device. He was the first person to cross the river. He and the girl celebrated, and their friendship grew.

The plan was to bring another cable across. Back and forth the young man went with his balancing pole and with wires. The workers continued to laugh at him. One worker said, “You’ll never turn that into a bridge.”

To which the boy replied, “It is a bridge.”

Eventually they had two strong cables across the river. They were separated by six inches. Then the young man invented a device for bringing people and large items across the river. It was like a bicycle with wheels that were too thick to fall between the cables (like a train riding between the rails.) Behind the bike was a cart with similar wheels. The cart could carry a person or boxes of things.

The young man and woman now had a business transporting things and people. They even hired other people to transport things. Others wanted to use the bridge continually to transport things. At first the problem was that people couldn’t use the bridge to go in both directions at once. But this problem was solved by bringing two more cables across. Soon many people were using the first two cables to go in one way, and the other two cables to go in the other direction.

Later, using money from their business, similar-sized cables were tested for their strength. Four more cables were sent across. It was found that, using a device with four special wheels, that now truck-sized amounts of materials could be transported.

This was all done at a fraction of the cost of the other bridge projects. By the way, none of these bridge projects was ever completed, even though forty years had gone by. Sadly, the other bridge projects were never abandoned. That’s because too many people were making money from keeping the projects going, even though the river claimed many tons of materials and many lives.

Meanwhile, the bridge that had initially been laughed at and ridiculed became known as “The Bridge of Bridges.”

 

Commentary

This is an allegory. The fast flowing and river represents the immense challenges to humanity in this century. The conventional bridge builders are those with conventional, yet inadequate solutions. I and the early members of Group Genie are the boy. The girl represents our initial personal support. The device used to hold the boy in case he fell is our back-up support structures. The two, four, eight wires and so on are the increasing numbers of people who use and pass on superprograms and the rest of this approach to make a bridge, a viable path through the 21st century to the future.

This parable is about the chain reaction approach, the Ripple Effect part of CLEAR. The repeated doubling of the wires is like the repeated doubling of participants. As each person creates their one-seven-billionth of the solution (environmentally, politically, economically and in their relationships) and as they pass it on, the solution grows.

Yet, to me the climax of the story is when the man says that it will never be a bridge, and the boy replies, “It is a bridge.” Any of you who fully participate can be glad and at peace, because you are living the solution now.

 

 


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