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The Meaning of a Small Bridge

How inspired are the workers building a local footbridge?


We have just seen one built over a canal near our house. It means a lot to us, but what about the people who built it?


The construction workers told us that they are proud of their contribution to this work: pleased with how accurately they have set the concrete. And they did it with their own skills.


But what gets them really thinking (or should I say ‘feeling’) is hearing what this bridge will do for us. We’ll be able to leave the car in the garage and take bikes instead.  One of them said that he can see us with a bike trailer full of groceries.


They are not looking at a lump of concrete anymore.  They are thinking about the true meaning of the bridge. What it will do for others.


So, which is more meaningful?

  • Building 100s of beautifully crafted foundations, or
  • Making many people’s lives easier.

Having direct knowledge of which is most meaningful will motivate those workmen to build more concrete foundations.


It’s the meaning that motivates, not the contribution.


I wonder how often they are reminded of this?