Monday, 10 October 2011

Brooklyn Bridge: A Story of vision and determination

    In 1883, a creative engineer named *John
    Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York
    with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world
    thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the
    idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been
    done before.

    Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He
    thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be
    done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much
    discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up
    and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

    Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts
    of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome.
    With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge
    before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

    The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a
    tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was
    injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in
    him not being able to walk or talk or even move.

    “We told them so.”

    “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.”

    “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

    Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be
    scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge
    could be built. In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged
    and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still
    as sharp as ever.

    He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but
    they were too daunted by the task. As he lay on his bed in his hospital
    room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew
    the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops
    of the trees outside for just a moment.

    It seemed that there was a *message for him not to give up*. Suddenly an
    idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the
    best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication
    with his wife.

    He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted
    her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her
    arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was
    under way again.

    *For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his
    wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular
    Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one
    man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by
    circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work,
    and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It
    stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who
    for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the
    engineers what to do.*

    Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that
    overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

    *Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very
    small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge
    shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realized with determination
    and persistence, no matter what the odds are.*

    Even the most distant dream can be realized with determination and

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