Determination: Thought for the Weekend :)


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 , 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 realised with determination and  persistence, no matter what the odds are.

Even the most distant dream  can be realized with determination and persistence.

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