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Don’t Burn Your Bridges!

Life is too Short to Hold Grudges

People have good and bad memories. They cherish their good memories and demolish bad memories. What happens when the bad memories haunt them because of their bitter experiences with others? At times they are in dilemma whether to forget their bad memories and forgive the wrongdoers. Is it essential to burn the bridges to forget their unpleasant experiences and events arising from wrongdoers?


Burning Your Bridges is Situational and Contextual

The phrase ‘don’t burn your bridges’ has different meanings. It means basically not to break relations with others. Humans are social animals and they cannot survive by living alone. They need people around them to connect and communicate; share their emotions; and express their expectations to accomplish their needs. At the same time, they must choose the right people with positive attitude to lead a healthy, happy and peaceful life.

It is not advisable to burn you bridges except in extreme cases where your relationship costs your integrity and credibility. It is better to burn your bridges when an individual is a liability. It is better to burn your bridges when the person becomes too difficult for you to reform. If you find ordinary people with a right attitude, you must keep them close to your heart. Never value relations based on wealth because fortunes fluctuate in life. Some people burn their bridges due to miscommunication, or perceptions or hearsay. They must eliminate the barriers in communication; take a relook at their perceptions; and verify the facts and figures before burning their bridges. You must note that burning your bridges with the right people is burning your fingers. Above all, burning your bridges is situational and contextual.


Burning Bridges in Digital Era

We live in a digital era with a plenty of social media platforms. On social media, people build bridges quickly and burn bridges quickly because they are virtually connected with some expectations and aspirations. Most of them connect for exploring opportunities. Some of them disconnect once their expectations are accomplished which is not appropriate. Remember that social media is a tool to connect with people and maintain relations for a long time for mutual benefit.


Burning Bridges in my Personal Life

“I’m grateful for every scar, some pages turned, some bridges burned, but there were lessons learned.” —Carrie Underwood

Burning a bridge involves a risk. You must think many times before burning your bridges especially with your relatives and close friends. I am a victim of rogue relatives in my personal life. Some of them are responsible for pain and sufferings to me, my wife and two sons. But I did not burn the bridges. Instead I maintained a safe distance from them to avoid landing into further troubles. Some of them made efforts to reconnect with me to exploit my brand and connections when I have grown internationally as an award-winning author. I respected them but did not allow them to damage my reputation.

Remember that nobody is right. We are humans and make mistakes in life. Sometimes circumstances compel people to behave wrongly. Hence, don’t carry unpleasant experiences and events. Time will heal the wounds. Offer enough time for the other person to rectify and reform. Think on a clean slate to begin a new era.

We need people from cradle to grave whether they are good or bad. We must make conscious choices with whom to build bridges and burn bridges. Those who cross their paths with good people grow in their lives and add value to others.

Life is all about breaking barriers and building bridges. Of course, some bridges must be burned to lead a peaceful and happy life. When you intend to avoid burning your bridges, choose a limited, quality and healthy network of friends. In this high-tech world, quality of connections matters more than quantity of connections.


Life is Great!

Life is a blend of sweet and bitter experiences. Cherish your sweet experiences and annihilate your bitter experiences. When you burn your bridges you rarely will have any opportunity to reconnect with them. Hence, avoid burning your bridges to lead a happy and meaningful life.

There are no permanent friends and permanent foes in the world. Then why do you burn your bridges and endeavor again to build them? Think before you burn your bridges because the world is very small. To conclude, life is too short to keep grudges. Let bygones be bygones. Forgive your foes. Be magnanimous. Be compassionate. Make a difference.

Life is great!

Professor M.S. Rao

Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India

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