Question to Readers: Do You Build the Modern Bridge?

The video above is a very picturesque story of two Peruvian villages that get together every year for three days to build a bridge across the river separating them.

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The bridge is made of woven grass that is twisted into huge rope cables and then pulled across the river while smaller grass ropes are attached to make a long rope bridge with its own distinct character. The three-day affair is evidently more than just a building project; it is a cultural event celebrated with a festival and folk dancing. The villagers are very proud of their bridge since it costs nothing save the fruit of their hands and the grass on the land.

Replacing this bridge would be a fairly simple project for modern engineers. A grant from the central Peruvian government could supply the money to bring in laborers and cementSubscription3-300x300 Question to Readers: Do You Build the Modern Bridge? trucks and build a permanent yet unattractive modern structure to replace the charming rope bridge spanning the river. The villagers would then no longer have to exert themselves in making the bridge and dedicate themselves to more productive projects.

But wouldn’t something be lost if this were done? Should technology be only concerned with efficiency? Or should technology be imbued with other moral and social values that add a human touch to things and provide unity to communities?

Questions to readers: What should be done in this case? Do you build the modern bridge?

  • Josephine O’Rourke

    I believe that sports and the arts can be used as a bridge between our three generations.

    Parents today want their children to be involved in sports and/or the arts. They are looking for outstanding coaches and teachers to help their child to exceed in these areas. Because these quality activities are often not available through our Church-based structures, the games, recitals, shows, competitions, etc. are scheduled with no regard for the Lord’s Day.

    I believe that this is largely what stole my grandchildren away from the Church. Their practices, recitals, games, shows, etc. were usually scheduled on Sundays, often miles away from where they lived Their best friends became, and continue to be, other children who do not share the Faith.

    We need child-centered communities, family-centered communities with first-class opportunities for our families to participate in sports and arts programs, especially in the formative years. These programs could include all three generations, either as volunteers, paid personnel, participants, and spectators.

    My daughter lives in Charlotte, N.C. where they are building large communities that are “anchored” by large food markets, such as “Whole Foods”. Why couldn’t we have such a community anchored by a sports/arts complex which is operated according to Christian principals?

    When my husband was a boy he was taken off the streets on Staten Island by volunteer policemen who taught boys how to box. They were known as the “Golden Gloves” and became
    well-known throughout the country. He was also a member of a marching band, another venture of the Police Athletic League.

    If we’re going to save our country and the world, after our own conversions, we have to start with our children.

  • Thomas Zimmerman

    This bridge has an obvious physical side to it: for persons to cross a river. But it has a much higher metaphysical reality to it. The bridge points to something greater than itself … community, family, trust and so on. All structures have a physical value but most modern structures do not speak of the higher values: civilization, virtue, God. No, we should not build the modern, ugly bridge but build bridges and structures and fountains that take us to God every time we use them.

  • Cole

    permanent yet unattractive modern structure to replace the charming rope bridge – This is pure opinion and should have been left out. Some people find modern structures to be attractive. Removing the yet unattractive part would have shown less bias. Otherwise the rest of your article is spot on.