Unity…The Art of Building Bridges

Individually, we are one drop Together, we are an ocean Ryunosuke Satoro

The Bridge

Once upon a time two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side. They had been sharing machinery, trading a labor and goods as needed without a hitch. Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference which exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of silence.

One morning there was a knock on elder brother’s door. He opened it to find a man with a carpenter’s toolbox. “I am looking for a few days of work”, he said. “Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”

“Yes!” said the elder brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That’s my neighbor, in fact, it’s my younger brother and we don’t get along. Last week he dug a wider passage for water into his farm. But he ended up creating a very wide creek in between our farms and I am sure he did it just to annoy me. I want you to build me something so that we don’t have to stand and see each other’s face from across.”

The carpenter said “I think I understand the situation. I will be able to do a job that will please you.” The elder brother had to go to town for supplies, so he helped the carpenter get the materials ready and then he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing, nailing.

At sunset when the elder brother returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The elder brother’s eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped. It was not what he had even thought of or imagined. It was a bridge stretching from one side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, beautiful handrails. And to his surprise, his younger brother across the creek was coming to meet him with a big smile and arms wide open to hug him.

“You are really kind and humble my brother! After all I had done and said to you, you still shown that blood relations can never be broken! I am truly sorry for my behaviour”, the younger brother said as he hugged his elder brother. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I have a lot of other projects for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d love to stay on”, the carpenter said, “but, I have many more bridges to build!”

Moral: There is no shame in accepting your mistake or forgiving each other. We should be kind and humble. We should try to stay together as a family and not break away from it over the petty arguments.

Today’s inspiring story is shared from the following website: https://www.moralstories.org/the-bridge/


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Coming Together, Keeping Together, and Working Together…Creating Unity

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping Together is progress. Working together is Success. Henry Ford

Coming Together, Keeping Together, and Working together is the mindset that I found prevailed in heaven during my near-death experience. Can I just share that the atmosphere and love that existed in heaven was more glorious than words can describe?

I think it is the glorious conditions there (in heaven) that make so many of us who have had a near-death experience want to return and/or never leave. But earth and life on earth has a purpose. We have come here to learn to love, support and grow ourselves and others.

Yet, that never happens successfully where there is conflict instead of love, lashing out instead of support and shrinking from challenges instead of growth.

The media has been sharing and deliberately creating lots of division in the last several months. Perhaps it originated with the presidential election and the various elections throughout the country. Perhaps it started much earlier.

I would not normally hone in on the media but from my vantage point, the division in this country does not seem to be between the citizens of my community. Nor does it seem to be with those I call friends and acquaintances who live far away from me. Instead, it seems to be mostly prevalent on the various forms of media where it appears that extraordinary effort is made to find divisive stories.

The power of unity lies with each of us. We can build unity with our families, we can build unity in our workplaces, we can build unity in our communities and in the world. We must be the ones who come together, keep together and support each others successes.

May we each choose to be a part of a unified world and may today’s story inspire you to be a part of the teamwork called unity!:

Teamwork in the workplace can be difficult. Teams at work often consist of a variety of conflicting personalities and styles. Getting to a point in which a team can collaborate and work in harmony can be a difficult task for a leader and takes time.

I love the following metaphor on teamwork from Steve Jobs I recently found.

He tells the story of a widowed man he had gotten to know in his eighties who lived up the street from him when he was a young boy.

One day the older man said to him, “come on into my garage, I want to show you something.” He pulled out a dusty and old rock tumbler that consisted of a motor and a coffee can with a little band between them, Jobs recollected.

He then invited him to the backyard where they collected some very regular and old ugly rocks. They put them in a can with a little bit of liquid and some grit powder. The old man then closed the can, turned the motor on and said, “come back tomorrow.”

Jobs remembered the can making a big racket as the stones went around in the can.

He came back the next day and when they opened the can and took out the rocks they were amazingly beautiful and polished. He states, “The same common stones that had gone in, through rubbing against each other like this (clapping his hands), creating a little bit of friction, creating a little bit of noise, had come out these beautiful polished rocks.” Teams, he states, are like these stones.

Individually we can be fairly normal, ordinary and even a bit rough. But through the process of teamwork we can end up in a very different state.

Jobs states that teams consisting of incredibly talented people who are passionate and are working hard towards something often times bump up against each other, argue, sometimes fight and make some noise. By working together they polish one another and their ideas and in the process create beautiful stones.

I love this metaphor. Have you built up enough trust on your teams to allow bumping up against one another and passionately arguing on occasion?

Passive, “follow the leader” types of teams are destined to fail. Each member of a team brings something unique. They are unique in their gifts, ideas and arguments. Team members must feel like they can express themselves without embarrassment or retribution.

Leaders who embrace the process of “tumbling stones” on their teams create more efficiency, better ideas, better problem solving and ultimately better teamwork.

Story shared from the following website: http://www.teamworkandleadership.com/2014/10/teamwork-and-collaboration-a-powerful-metaphor-and-story-to-share.html

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When It is of God…It is Simple

simplicity-if-the-ultimate-sophistication-canna-1341423Simplicity is the hallmark of God. For me, it has become a sign. When I see complexity and chaos, I know it is man made because God does not use either tool.

Did you ever think about the Atonement of Jesus Christ? His sacrifice was comprehensive but there were no elaborate programs, piles of red tape or complicated mandates. The gifts of the Atonement are now offered to each man, woman and child without fanfare or complication. Yet, the impact and availability of those gifts are profound! A true sign that the Atonement is affiliated with God!

Today, I want to share a story from http://bemorewithess.com:

Matt’s Simplicity Story:

I am very slow and selective when it comes to labeling myself, so I don’t call myself a minimalist. Yet I certainly apply minimalist and simple living principles to my life.

I will admit that the reason I began adopting minimalist principles is selfishness. I didn’t like the clutter that surrounded me. I didn’t like the unease I felt in a messy space. I didn’t like keeping a calendar with every box filled with blue ink, black ink, and penciled in appointments. I didn’t enjoy being drained after over committing myself yet again.

I was wildly successful in my simplifying efforts. My house is emptier, more peaceful, and easier to maintain. My calendar is emptier and my weeks are less rushed.

I don’t want to share how I began implementing simple living principles. I want to share why I still work to keep my space and schedule minimal.

I apply minimalist principles…

…because my wife is important. I love her. I want her to have a husband who knows her—really knows her. I want to be a husband who knows what projects she’s working on and what she’s struggling with. I want to be a husband who takes the time to listen. I want to the one who encourages her, celebrates with her, and gives her my best self.

…because my children are important. I love them. I want them to have a father who pretends to be a dragon, who roars, who chases them around the dining room table. I want my kids to have a dad who colors with them and reads them books. I want to teach them how to be angry at one another and manage their emotions responsibly and then forgive.

…because my parents are important. I love them. They won’t always be here; but they’ve been there for me since my birth. I’m finally beginning to understand how much time and effort they put into raising their family. I want them to have a son who tells them they’ve done a good job. More, I want them to have a son who shows them they’ve done a good job by the way he lives his adult life. I want them to have a son who spends lazy afternoons with them and listens to their stories of my long-dead relatives. I want them to have a son who says “I love you.”

…because my brother and sister are important. I love them. My sister was a girl with a Paula Abdul poster on her bedroom wall; now she has her own husband and daughter. My brother was an expert at Super Mario Brothers; now he’s a kind, responsible tradesman. They grew up so well, I didn’t even realize they did it. I want to be the brother who tells them I’m proud of who they’ve become. I want to be the brother who laughs and laughs with them until our stomachs hurt and we say, “oh, look at the time! How did it get so late so quickly?” I want them to have a brother they’re also proud of.

…because the people with whom I worship are important. As are the people of my community. As are the people who call me a friend. I love them. I want to be the one among the many who pray for them…who listen to them…who help them…who praise their accomplishments.

Likewise, you are important. You are loved—and the people who love you are important. Those people you love are important. The person you are right now is important. So is the person you want to be in the future. So is the person you’re actually going to be. The things you catch yourself daydreaming about are important. Even your fears are important.

I started applying minimalist principles because I loved myself and wanted to create a more enjoyable life. I continue applying minimalist principles because I grew in my love for others. I try to keep the greatest things at the center so I can be a better man and thus give continually better to them.

I find Matt’s story both heartwarming and a reminder that love grows and blooms best where life is simple and free from complicated distractions. Love is simple and free gift from God. I am so grateful for God’s simple gifts of abundance!

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I Believe in the Absolute Oneness of God….

We WeI believe in the absolute oneness of God and therefore also of humanity. Mahatma Gandhi

We are all a part of the same family. Do you sense it – do you feel it? We are a part of a world that is a part of a divine plan implemented by that Perfect Being who loves us unconditionally and beyond our ability to imagine. God is one with us as we allow him. He is one with all of creation. It is His desire that we be one with Him and with our fellow man.

Our joy and happiness does not depend on our wealth, abilities, or power. Instead, it depends on our relationship to God, our fellowman and our self.

Spend a few moments today contemplating your oneness with the world!

You might want to know that a celebration of oneness will be held on October 11th at 11:00 am for 11 minutes. Put it on your calendar and plan to celebrate peace and oneness with your fellowman!

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