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News & Press: President's Column

President's Column ~ July/August/September 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016  
Posted by: Stephanie McGee
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President's Message

 Brian O. Beverly
WCBA and Tenth J.D. Bar


Spring 2016


            BRIDGES ARE COMMONLY thought of as physical structures that carry us over some obstacle. Usually the obstacle is hazardous and poses a danger, like a river, chasm, etc. However, we can also utilize nonphysical bridges to assist us. These figurative bridges can help transport us from one life station to the next. For example, education can be a bridge from ignorance to wisdom. Family can be a bridge from lack of self-identity to self-awareness. Faith can be a bridge from chaos to serenity. Friends can be a bridge from solitude to companionship. Employment can be a bridge from indigence to prosperity. You can probably think of a few life bridges that apply to you personally.

Physical bridges require periodic inspection and maintenance to ensure that they are capable of bearing the load they were designed to carry. Neglected physical bridges inevitably fall into disrepair, and ultimately fail – quite often causing injury to those who mistakenly relied on their apparent sturdiness. In the same vein, false reliance on the perceived durability of our figurative life bridges can also lead to hurt and sometimes catastrophe.

So, what are the bridges that support your life’s journey? Are they doing an adequate job? How often do you inspect them? How frequently do you devote time, materials and effort to maintain them, or better yet to strengthen them so they can support a heavier load? Have you fallen into the trap of thinking that your bridges will always handle the stress that life places on them simply because they once did?

I’m challenging you to give your bridges a checkup. Identify three or four components of your life that constitute bridges for you – that sustain you – and make a concerted effort to assess their propensity to support the load being placed upon them. Are they in need of reinforcement? If after your assessment you determine that they are, strategize on how best to allocate resources and apply them to the task. Does your family bridge require more of your time to strengthen it? Does your faith bridge deserve more in the way of prayer or charity? Do your friends need to sense more concern from you for their well-being? Consider the bridges you identify one at a time and bolster the most vulnerable first before moving on. At the end of the effort, I’m hopeful that you will not only have more confidence in relying on the bridges that support you, but that you will discover new bridges that have buttressed your life journey – perhaps without your even knowing it.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the WCBA while we’re on the subject of bridges. If education and friendships are examples of life bridges as I suggest, then the WCBA is certainly a travel lane on those bridges that can point you to desirable destinations. Are you taking advantage of the massive quantity of free CLE offered by the WCBA to bolster your education bridge? The after-work socials and monthly luncheons (both free with your dues) are terrific tools for fortifying your friendship bridge. Do you need help from BarCares, our confidential short-term intervention program that assists WCBA member lawyers and family members with issues of mental well-being, substance abuse, bereavement or the like? As you complete the exercise with which I’ve tasked you, be sure to utilize the WCBA wherever possible to reinforce the bridges you identify as needing attention. WBF

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