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Building bridges of resilience

Published:Sunday | September 10, 2023 | 12:07 AM
An aerial photograph of Flat Bridge
An aerial photograph of Flat Bridge

Dating back to the year 1770, the Flat Bridge of St Catherine, Jamaica, stands as a silent witness to the passage of centuries, carrying the weight of generations’ hopes, dreams, and aspirations. A simple yet awe-inspiring structure, it spans 45 metres long and 4 metres wide, gracefully connecting Kingston to Ocho Rios. It has borne witness to moments of celebration and sombre reflection, offering passage to countless souls on their journeys through life.

However, history has not been kind to this resilient bridge. In 1881, nature’s fury swept it away, leaving behind a void that echoed the challenges many of us face when our own paths seem obscured by adversity. Yet, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Flat Bridge was reconstructed with determination and resourcefulness. Its floor was ingeniously replaced with iron girders and bucket plates, a testament to the innovative spirit of the Jamaican people.

Flat Bridge’s story exemplifies human tenacity, highlighting the challenges and tragedies faced in overcoming obstacles. It serves as a reminder that our journeys are not without risks, and forging ahead without careful consideration can lead to unforeseen consequences.


In the shadow of Flat Bridge’s legacy lies a lesson of paramount importance: the power of planning. Just as the bridge’s reconstruction was a calculated endeavour, so, too, should our life’s journey be approached with foresight and purpose. Each step forward should be guided by a well-thought-out plan, a road map to navigate the challenges that lie ahead. Success isn’t a random occurrence. It is the outcome of deliberate actions and dedicated effort.

As we stand at the cusp of our own life’s rivers, it is imperative to remember the lessons of Flat Bridge. Embrace the wisdom of those who have gone before us: make a plan for your journey. With each passing week, celebrate your progress and renew your determination. Your dreams, much like the bridge, may face setbacks and challenges, but with a solid plan, perseverance, and a smile on your face, you can navigate the waters of uncertainty and forge a path to success.

A clear plan, unwavering spirit, and determination are essential for overcoming obstacles. Flat Bridge encourages us to embark on our journeys with a strong plan and the right tools.

Contributed by Dr Lorenzo Gordon, who is a diabetologist, internal medicine consultant, biochemist, and a history and heritage enthusiast. Send feedback to