Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The world seems to be growing smaller and smaller. Not from global warming or El Nino, but because people are so much more connected. No matter where you are, talking long enough to someone you’ve just met, you’ll find you both know some of the same people. You may even discover you’re Facebook friends.
Because of the Internet, we literally live in a connect-the-dot world. Technology makes people long forgotten sometimes boomerang back. It can be fun or dreadful depending on history.
Driving through rural Arkansas once I read a church marquee that said, “Don’t burn the bridge today you may need to walk on tomorrow.” This truth has expanded way beyond small town borders. How many times have you watched people come face to face with an awkward situation because they’ve set off dynamite blowing a bridge to splinters? If only they had seen the church marquee.
The server you are rude to may someday own the restaurant you’d like a donation from for the charity event you’re in charge of. I promise he will remember you. The woman you cut in line on in Starbucks in the morning might be the state trooper who pulls you over that afternoon. And, an unwritten fact of life is this: the nerd you were mean to in high school will own half the town you someday live in.
General George Washington established a custom during the formative years of our country: Burn the bridge behind you so the enemy won’t follow. That made strategic sense then. But, who’s to know if today’s “enemy” might be the bank officer you need a loan from when you’re buying your dream home 10 years from now. Take care of your bridges.
“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”