Susan Badeau

There are only two lasting gifts we can give our children - one is roots, the other is wings

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Building Bridges of Hope II

Posted by Sue Badeau on February 10, 2013 at 9:00 AM

Thanks for reading Part I and brainstorming with me some of the possible ways to get to your destination after a bridge is flooded out, washed away. Gone.


Some great ideas here. Working together to build a new bridge, finding another route, getting a helicopter. Others I have heard when I use this exercise in my workshops include some of the following:

  • Swim 
  • Build a raft and float across 
  • Take a ferry 
  • Zip line 
  • Use GPS (or an old fashioned map) and find another route  
  • Tunnel 
  • Build a dam up the river, dam up the river and then walk across dry land 


All of these ideas, and more, are possible. There are 3 keys to turning these possibilities into realities.


  1. The first is to believe. Believe that it IS possible to get to your destination again, that all hope is not lost. There are more routes, more paths, and more options. Believe. 
  2.  The second key is to evaluate. Which option will get you there fastest? Safest? Which option will cost most, or least? Which option will you be able to use again and again (pass the test of time)? What is your priority – speed, safety, cost or sustainability? Evaluate. 
  3.  The third key is to act. Don’t just think about the alternate strategies for getting to your destination – take action. Make a choice and move forward. Take one step. Then another. Do something. And if the first “something” does not work as expected, do another something. Act. 

 (There is a change strategy known as a PDSA – “Plan, Do, Study, Act” that incorporates these keys and teaches people how to use them – check it out here: http://tinyurl.com/25pvog5 ).


As we look over all of the options put forward, or others that might be floating around in your head, I notice that they all have 3 things in common.

  1. Time – All of the alternate routes will take us more time to reach our destination than if we had been able to drive over the bridge safely. Oh sure, a zip line or helicopter may be fast, but first we have to find it, make the arrangements, etc. and by the time we do, we will arrive at our destination later than if we had been able to drive over as planned. Some of the strategies may only take a few extra minutes, while others may take years (building a new bridge, for example). All will take some extra time.
  2. Expertise – All of the alternate routes take different expertise than driving across would have taken. Whether it is the skills needed to swim or to follow a map, or the complex set of engineering skills needed to build a new bridge all of the alternate routes will require a different skill set than driving a car over a bridge requires.  
  3. Resources – Every one of the alternate routes requires some resources – whether this means money, materials, equipment or simply stamina, every alternate route requires resources above and beyond those needed to simply drive across the bridge. 


So, are you starting to see the connections between our bridge exercise and helping children to heal from trauma? I hope so! Stay with me, the next time, I’ll make some of the connections explicit. In the meantime – safe travels! See you soon!

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