Though it is a significant departure from the usual content, the poem below (don’t worry, it’s not a JayWink original!) seemed an appropriate contribution to this blog. It explains, in part, the purpose of “The Third Degree” – my attempt to “build a bridge” or “illuminate a path” for others to benefit from my experience.
That is not meant to suggest that the “bridges” built here will not sway in the wind; it is not my goal to provide “all the answers.” Capturing all possible variables and nuance that one may encounter is an unrealistic expectation. Instead, I strive to inspire relevant questions – the genesis of real learning.
“The Third Degree” is also an expression of gratitude to other “bridge-builders” – those that came before me, easing my “crossings,” those that work alongside me, and those I have yet to encounter. Finally, as does the old man in the poem, I hope to set an example that inspires others to build bridges along their own paths.
Enjoy “The Bridge Builder.”
The Bridge Builder – Miss Will Allen Dromgoole 
An old man going a lone highway,
Came in the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm vast, both deep and wide,
Through which was flowing a sullen tide.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The swollen stream was as naught to him;
But he stopped when safe on the farther side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.
"Old man," said a fellow pilgrim near,
"You are wasting your strength in labor here;
Your journey will end with the closing day,
You never again will pass this way.
You've crossed the chasm deep and wide;
Why build you this bridge at eventide?"
The laborer lifted his old gray head,
"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,
"There followeth after me today,
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm which has been naught to me,
To that young man may a pitfall be.
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim.
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."
 Sources vary as to the construction of the poem, as well as the original publication date, circa 1900. The version shared here, and the pdf file below, are courtesy of beta.org.
 [Link] Will Allen Dromgoole (Wikipedia)
Jody W. Phelps, MSc, PMP®, MBA
JayWink Solutions, LLC
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