February 16, 2022
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 mis-understanding 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 knocked 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 behavior”, 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.