Series I, Part II: The Parable of The Man and The Bridge

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 | Labels: | |

The man continues down the path in the woods and he comes across another man fixing a bridge, curious, he goes over to him to ask a question.

"Why are you fixing this bridge?" he asked

"So people can walk over it", the man replied.

"Is it your job to fix the bridge?" he asked again

The man thought for a moment, "Well no, but the bridge needed to be fixed so people could walk over it."

He was confused by this, "Well, you shouldn't be fixing this bridge."

"Why not?" The man asked

"Because it is not your job." He replied

Now confused himself, the man replied "Well, that's true, but the bridge needs fixed. Should I not fix it just because it is not my job?"

"Exactly." he said

The man pondered over this for a bit, then replied "Well, how am I to know if the bridge will get fixed by the persons who job it is to fix it? This way, if it is fixed, then the man whose job it was to fix it will surely be grateful."

Now frustrated, he replied, "But you are doing someone elses job, it is not your job."

The man pondered again, "Yes, but the job needs to be done, and since I have the time today and the man whose job it is to fix the bridge clearly does not, ought I not fix it myself?"

Angrily, he replied to him again, "Of course not, it is clear you do not understand how the system works, when someone is hired to do something, they should do it, not you."

The man responded, "This is true, but the bridge needs to be fixed so people can walk over it, if I wait for he who was hired to do it, those who need to cross it will have to find another path until he can fix it. Whereas if I fix it now, those who need the bridge can use it."

Shocked by the man's response, he thought about what he had said, then replied "You may be right, those who cannot cross the bridge will have to find another path, but that is the price to pay for our system. If someone is hired to fix the bridge, they should fix it, not you."

The man replied, earnestly "Then your system is flawed."

Astonished, he replied "I'm sorry, but I have to disagree, it is important to have a system which holds people accountable for their jobs, now if you'll excuse me, I'll have to be on my way."

The man stated, "Very well then, but you cannot go that way either."

"Why not?" he asked

The man stated, "The bridge on that path hasn't been fixed yet."

Frustrated, he turned around and headed back the direction he came.

Craig Chamberlin