Sunday, June 8, 2014

One small step, or not

This combination is not a good one but it has inspired me. I didn't sleep last night. A bad headache treated with caffeine after 3PM means I won't be sleeping for a a couple of days and I complemented that with an elementary school graduation. So my brain is done. If I sound a bit scattered, now you know why.

While I was watching the graduation and reading the quotes that the 14 year-olds have already begun regretting I saw this line (and sing along if you know the words) "The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." It takes no sleep and 46 eighth graders to make you really pay attention to that quote. It is a dumb statement and I am going to use this time to tell you why.

First off, who goes on a 1000 mile journey? I resent having to go 4 miles to a graduation exercise. I really don't like having to drive to the next town to drop my kid off for a sleep over. And if there are tolls involved? It just isn't happening. A thousand miles? What is so important that you can't see it, study it, buy it or make fun of it over the internet? So that's one thing.

But also, the journey of 1000 miles really begins with planning. Are you gong to start the walk before setting an itinerary or investigating hotels? Maybe checking your work schedule or exchanging currency? If you are going 1000 miles you will need to buy some extra shoes. And is this long journey going to be taken on foot? Maybe the journey of 1000 miles begins by calling a cab.

Finally, what if, against all common sense, I DO decide to take a 1000 mile journey on foot but, when I start the journey, instead of taking a single step, I take a standing broad jump. Or maybe I get on the floor and roll. Why does the 1000 mile journey have to start with a specific and single step? Can't I be an individual?

What we need is an updated cliche to work with, so here is my suggestion.

"The journey of 1000 miles is a bad idea but if you have to go, like for work or something, pack a sweater and buy a map. And then, when you start walking, do it however you feel comfortable. I won't judge."

That just rolls off the tongue. I can't wait to see it in all the yearbooks next year.

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