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Bridge to Nowhere (Revisited)

A Storm.

Pandemic. Unemployment. Fear.

Mass protests for justice. Social disruption.

A storm. A river moves.

A bridge to nowhere.

What do we do when the river moves?

Several years ago, I stumbled on a photo of a bridge in Honduras. The bridge spanned the Choluteca River. It had survived the devastating destruction of Hurricane Mitch in 1998. Mitch was an especially destructive storm; it slammed into the country of Honduras and ended up dumping over two metres of rain in less than four days.

This durable bridge was provided by the nation of Japan to the people of Honduras. It was constructed of concrete and steel using modern engineering and construction. It was built to last. A lot of time, labour, and money was invested into this project.

Rivers move. Alas, after a deluge of rain and flooding, the river just jumped its banks. It carved a new channel. Rivers do that. They are alive and dynamic.

A bridge to nowhere.

Our inherited political and social institutions – built with corrupt rules that guarantee that the game is rigged for many- are proving to be inflexible in a time of profound flux. Constructed and reinforced to entrench and preserve inequality and to secure power and privilege in the hands of a few, they are more fragile and inadequate than we had imagined. They are not alive and responsive. A storm and flood of change can sweep away trust in these seemingly permanent structures: often in a just a matter of days.

The political hurricanes and rivers that have moved in recent history should prepare us for this moment. We are wise to prepare for more weather to arrive.

How do we build more responsive, flexible, sustainable, and lasting bridges between us?

What do we do when the river moves?

The river is moving.


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