Once upon a time two brothers, who lived on adjoining farms,
fell into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of
farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labor and
goods as needed without a conflict.
Then the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small
misunderstanding and it grew into a major difference, and finally
it exploded into an exchange of bitter words followed by weeks of
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He opened it to
find a man with a carpenter's tool box.
"I'm looking for a few days' work" he said. "Perhaps you would
have a few small jobs here and there I could help with? Could I
help you?" "Yes," said the older brother. "I do have a job for
"Look across the creek at that farm. That's my neighbour; in fact,
it's my younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us
and he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a
creek between us. Well, he may have done this to spite me, but I'll
do him one better."
See that pile of lumber by the barn? My younger brother wants me
to build a fence an 8-foot fence so he won't need to see my place
or my face anymore."
The carpenter said, "I think I understand the situation. Show me
the nails and the digger and I'll be able to do a job
that pleases you."
The older brother had to go to town, so he helped the carpenter
get the materials ready and then he was off for the day.
The carpenter worked hard all that day measuring, sawing,
About sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just
finished his job.
The farmer's eyes opened wide, his jaw dropped. There was no
fence there at all. It was a bridge - a bridge stretching from one
side of the creek to the other! A fine piece of work, handrails and
all and the neighbour, his younger brother, was coming
towards them, his hand outstretched. "You are quite a fellow to
build this bridge after all I've said and done." The farmer says,"
I am sorry for whatever conflicts happened. Please forgive me.
The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they
met in the middle, taking each other's hand.
They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox onto his
shoulder. "No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects
for you," said the older brother.
"I'd love to stay on," the carpenter said, but I have many more
bridges to build.
Dadashri says, "We should avoid conflicts at all costs.
If conflicts arise we should take the blame on ourselves and admit
that the fault is ours if the problem is to be solved quickly. By
accepting the blame we become noble and graceful to all around us.
The other person will feel our love and notice our openness. When
enmity goes away love prevails."