Archive for February 9th, 2023

February 9, 2023

Bridge repair

by Rod Smith

“You can’t drive a ten-ton truck over a one-ton bridge,” my dad would say, or at least I think it was dad. 

Perhaps it was one of my many sage uncles. 

The literal meaning was obvious but it was always meant in the context of relationships. 

A relationship has to have resilience and have experienced much before it can take the heaviness that sometimes must flow between and among people.

My sons can hit me with any news or questions when necessary. We have decades of love and struggle, joys and failures and yeses and maybes and absolutely nots and I love you-s that have flowed among us. Our relationships have muscle. They are toned and exercised, and muscle my sons trust. It’s muscle I trust. They can bring a 10-ton truck over the bridge and the fifty-ton bridge we have built together over years and years of daily living will sustain the weight. We each know this to be true – even if we have never said it – there’s an understanding of love and commitment among us, maintained and repaired in “real time” with every act of kindness and forgiveness and show of mercy and empathy and compassion and understanding.

The same privileges are mutually afforded and enjoyed with my family and members of my family-of-choice and with men and women all of whom already know it even if it’s never articulated.

Neglected relationships result in untrustworthy or faulty bridges.

Build, repair your bridges – if necessary – before you approach another with your 10-ton message, your demand, complaint or request.

[The KZN Mercury, Friday February 10, 2023]