Thoughts are Like Bridges

Thoughts are like bridges. They help us get from one place to another, and they keep us from falling.

Like bridges they vary in how easy they are. Supposing you and your friend are great at hiking. You want to get to a high spot, because the views are good or there’s a nice fruit tree that you want to eat the fruit, whatever. Because you are great at hiking what serves you for a bridge could be very little indeed — a couple of fallen trees or a rock or two. Your balance is excellent and you are able to walk on the slender tree or hop from rock to rock across the raging river. These few little slippery objects are for you and your friend a bridge.

But supposing you are compassionate (or hoping to make a few bucks — it doesn’t matter) and you want to let regular folks who are not expert hikers get to the high spot, to get the great view or the good to eat fruit. You will have to build a river that a lot of people can walk over. Those people do not have good balance, some of them may be in fact pretty heavy. So you will have to engineer your bridge so that people who are not great hikers can walk on it.

It’s the same with thoughts. When you formulate a thought for yourself or a couple of close friends, it will come out one way. But if you want crowds of people to be able to use it, you will have to build it with some engineering, and some realistic sense of their capacities in mind.

Interestingly once you build a solid steel bridge somebody with excellent balance can hang from it or stand on tip-toes on top of it and see something that nobody before could see — not the regular people and not the hikers with excellent balance either.

It’s the same with thoughts.


One thought on “Thoughts are Like Bridges

  1. True. And with thoughts, there’s an added complication: “the curse of expertise.” If we know a lot about a subject, we have a hard time imagining how it looks to people who know little or nothing about it. We lose our ability to know what needs to be explained or how much explanation is needed. That’s why even good writers need good editors.

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