“While some are thinking of walls, we will continue building bridges of understanding.”
By Nat Krieger
Even though the American Society of Civil Engineers has rated 60,000 U.S. bridges structurally deficient, Donald Trump’s top infrastructure priority is building a wall.
Bridges and walls. Both learned from nature. The walls of the Alps that have protected and/or isolated Switzerland for millennia. The now flooded earthen bridge linking Asia to the Americas that brought the first immigrants to these lands.
When it comes to the imitations built by humans it may be surprising to discover that the most ancient surviving bridges are over a thousand years older than the oldest still above ground frontier walls. Surprising because Homo sapiens sapiens—the species so wise we have to say it twice—have raised a genetic propensity for group raiding that we share with chimpanzees, to the heights of planned, civilized slaughter. If the great walls that gird cities and frontiers are built on assumptions of endless war, bridges are bets on peace, exposed connective tissue born from the confidence that there other people and places worth checking out. [Read more…]