The Bridge


Governor Christie of New Jersey has gotten himself in a pretty big jam (no pun intended). He is denying that close staff members of his administration allowed and probably orchestrated a huge traffic jam over the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey to New York.  Regardless of the reasons, designing a traffic jam over a bridge of any kind, let alone a mile long mass of steel and roadway, is just wrong.

Media reported jam-ups lasting over three hours, schools and offices were disrupted with commuters unable to prevent delays, even one death was reported from the delay of an ambulance.   

The turmoil caused by this incident has become world news.  The story leads every segment break on the major media programs. But every day isn’t there instances of rash and consequential behavior like this?  How many other times has situations gotten completely out of hand but no one was there to report them?  It seems we congregate, we unite and then we go and do things to each other that can hurt, really hurt.  Or cause disruption, chaos, even loss of life.

It seems as if as human beings we are on some sort of trajectory we can’t avoid.  It’s as if we are looking at ourselves from a distance, seeing a meteor or shooting star.  But it’s us.  We don’t begin to recognize ourselves. Perhaps we refuse to or perhaps we are just moving so fast that we don’t know what space junk we have left in our trail.  The debris, smoke, traffic pile-ups, casualties both physical and soul-wrenching.

The preconceptions we are impassioned about, the theater we often live, all of it can get in the way of our humanity.  It’s easy.  We get caught up in competition, power, prestige, even blind passion, and boom, we’re off.  Not giving a thought to the consequences.

I’m like that.  And you’re like that.  Don’t kid yourself.  So pointing fingers at others in our wake doesn’t help.  Maybe instead we should all try to keep our feet on the ground for a second before blasting off, aiming to break the sound barrier.  Instead, be quiet, silent, listen.  Think!  We ARE human, that’s also a good thing.  We know how to play well with others or this world would have been one completely and utterly huge orb of chaos a long, long time ago.

Maybe instead of blocking bridges we should open more.  Connect instead of obstruct.  Step out extending a hand instead of pulling back and aiming.  We know how.  We can change that trajectory, path, road.  And we can build bridges instead of using them for selfish gain.

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