byjmullery02-10-201011:34 AM - edited 02-10-201012:06 PM
The world is in going through rapid, uncertain change. The economy is tough. Goals are difficult to attain and just when we make some progress, new obstacles emerge. I’m not talking about 2010; this was the state of affairs in 1883. And in the midst of such a tumultuous time, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with Long Island.
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. 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. Together, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, 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.
Most people would have given up. But Washington had a burning desire to complete the bridge. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task. 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. 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 dreams can be realized with determination and persistence.