This I Believe

Elizabeth - Clinton, Arkansas
Entered on December 10, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

One Small Step

I believe that to begin a journey of a thousand miles, I must start with one small step. Life is full of journeys that I have the choice of embarking upon, or missing out. I must embrace every journey that life throws at me. I must not sit back and let life pass me by.

When I was in Great Britain this past summer, my uncle and I went sight-seeing through the Lake District. We drove into beautiful mountains to see the magnificent view that the locals talk so much about. The road was incredibly steep, and I was worried our little rental Santa Fe would not make it to the top. We finally wound our way to the end of the road, but it did not go all the way to the summit of the highest mountain. My uncle was determined to get the best view possible, so he pulled over to the side, and got out. I knew before he even said a word that he was going to climb the rest of the way on foot. I knew this climb would require more strength than I had in me. We had already walked an unbelievable amount that week, and I was in no condition to climb that steep land mass. Uncle Wade told me I could do it, and that the view would be well worth the effort. I stared at him in disbelief, while trying to muster every ounce of strength I had left in me. I looked up at the top, telling myself to take just one small step and then another.

The climb was extremely strenuous, but the view was absolutely gorgeous. The wind was blowing so hard, I thought it was going to blow me right off the edge. I tried to block out the sound of miners working in the distance, and the horrendous stench of sheep droppings. I turned my focus instead to the beauty surrounding me. The sun was glistening on the lake, and the reflection of the mountains on the water looked like an artist’s newly finished masterpiece. I was so glad that I had chosen to take that first small step of the seemingly thousand mile journey. I will always remember how awesome that unthinkable journey ended.

Life’s journeys may seem difficult, even impossible, but I know all I have to do is take that first step to receive the wonderful rewards. Failure to take that step may cause me to miss the chance of a life time. I must embrace every journey, whether it is one mile or a million miles long, to enjoy life to the fullest.